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Sparkling Red Wine

TheWineScoop Apr 7, 2011 11:00 PM

About a month ago I went out to dinner with friends and we got a bottle of red sparkling wine. I've had regular and blush sparkling wine before, but never red. It was really good but I have no idea what it was. Does anyone have suggestions for a good red sparkling wine?

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  1. j
    jock RE: TheWineScoop Apr 8, 2011 01:35 AM

    the aussies make sparkling shiraz. it is pretty heavy stuff. definitely an acquired taste.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jock
      Bill Hunt RE: jock Apr 9, 2011 09:37 PM


      I agree, and a taste that I have never cultivated. Maybe I have just not had any "good ones?"


      1. re: Bill Hunt
        drumwine RE: Bill Hunt Apr 9, 2011 11:04 PM

        Try the Majella Coonawarra Sparkling Shiraz.....might change your mind about them.

    2. m
      Maximilien RE: TheWineScoop Apr 8, 2011 03:46 AM

      My only experience with Australian shiraz sparkling was disastrous; it was at a friendly tasting, and everyone took a sip and then spit it out in horror, we emptied the bottles and glasses down the drain.

      I think Italians make something "better" but I will pass (unless someone offer me a glass for free to taste).


      2 Replies
      1. re: Maximilien
        Midlife RE: Maximilien Apr 9, 2011 12:16 PM

        Indeed !!! "it is pretty heavy stuff. definitely an acquired taste." I've had a sparkling Shiraz from Schild Estate that I think was a Wine Spectator top 100 wine (in it's still form, I think). Wow!!! Heavy it was!!

        1. re: Midlife
          budnball RE: Midlife Apr 10, 2011 10:43 AM

          I was given a half case of sparkling Shiraz from down under and after a few tries, I found it great for mixing, really helps out a punch and makes a great sangria. By it self i treated it like a alcholic soda, drinking it on ice. I was not sorry to see the last of it tho.

      2. ChefJune RE: TheWineScoop Apr 8, 2011 04:34 AM

        We are pretty fond of Brachetto d'Acqui, a sparkling red from Piemonte, in Italy. But I would really categorize it as a dessert wine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChefJune
          Ricardo Malocchio RE: ChefJune Apr 8, 2011 07:42 AM

          A dessert wine certainly (and best friend of chocolate, the deeper and richer the better), but nonetheless a light wine that's refreshing and delicate on the palate.

        2. w
          wineglas1 RE: TheWineScoop Apr 8, 2011 06:36 AM

          It is called Blanc de Noir which is 100% Pinot Noir. The only good Sparkling made from red grapes will be made from Pinot Noir.

          Almost all sparkling wine from the US and France has Pinot Noir in the blend. Try a US producer if you don't want to spend a lot of money (under $30) and look for Blanc de Noir on the label. Avoid the Sparkling Shiraz.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wineglas1
            redips RE: wineglas1 Apr 8, 2011 03:13 PM

            With a name like wineglas, you would think you had a bit more understanding of what Blanc de Noir is. You couldn't be more wrong. I mean the translation alone means "white from red"...

            Depending on how it is made, the quality of a sparkling red wine can be very hit and miss. They are often mass produced, fake sweet and carbonated. (carbonating is a cost effective way of adding bubbles to wine vs bubbles forming through natural fermentation) If you want sparkling red wine that has been done right, look for one that has been done in either traditional method or transfer method. Traditional Method (also known as Method Champonoise) is a process that involves the conversion of sugars to alcohol in THE bottle. Its a process too cool for words.

            In addition to a good fruit structure usually sourced from Shiraz grapes, there are some other things that are needed with sparkling red wines. One is proper ripeness; picking too early could reveal some very phenolic tasting compounds. The other is sufficient acid, which is often related to when the grapes are picked - Acid is a challenge in some warm areas such as Australia. If, however, the winemaker can get the combo right the wine will reveal dark dry fruits with a soft yeasty palate (think traditional paczki), acid that keeps the wine balanced, and a bright pink voluminous stream of bubbles.

            As for recommendations.... If you can find them, look for...
            Barossa Valley Estates EE Sparkling Shiraz and Samuels Gorge Sparkling Red. This year was SG first vintage but it was brilliant. BVE is an old staple - could be tough to find, but quite good.

            If you can't find them then I say keep drinking what you enjoy or try some of the other recommendations on the board.

            1. re: wineglas1
              zin1953 RE: wineglas1 Apr 10, 2011 05:06 PM

              1) A wine labels "Blanc de Noir" (or, more accurately, "Blanc de Noirs") is NOT red in color. A perfect Blanc de Noir/Noirs will be the same color as "regular" sparkling wine, though some may have a slight coppery tinge or even be slightly pink. One thing they will NOT be is red.

              2) In the US, a sparkling wine produced and labeled as "Blanc de Noir" does NOT have to be 100% Pinot Noir. Indeed, it does not have to be 100% red wine grapes . . . .

              3) There are several Blanc de Noirs Champagnes which are exclusively produced from Pinot Meunier (i.e.: with ZERO percent Pinot Noir used).

              4) Why would anyone make a categorical statement, "Avoid the Sparkling Shiraz"??? YOU may not like them; indeed, I may not be a huge fan, but CLEARLY a number of Australian wineries make them . . . WHY??? Because people DRINK them and LOVE them!

            2. h
              HunterJay RE: TheWineScoop Apr 8, 2011 06:41 AM

              There's a Portuguese sparkling red - Alianca Tinto Bruto. Easy drinking red. Not heavy or desserty as some of the others referenced above. And if I recall, none too expensive, but I've only seen it once.

              2 Replies
              1. re: HunterJay
                jmoryl RE: HunterJay Apr 8, 2011 01:19 PM

                Alianca (a largeish, middle of the road producer) is just one of the many sparkling red wines made in the Bairrada region of central Portugal. The main grape is usually the fiercely tannic Baga and the wine is a great match for leitao, a roast suckling pig that is a specialty of the area.

                1. re: HunterJay
                  wineglas1 RE: HunterJay Apr 8, 2011 05:31 PM

                  HunterJay I think too many people drink wine because it is easy drinking. For me if there is no complexity I am not a fan.

                2. d
                  dustbuddy RE: TheWineScoop Apr 8, 2011 08:50 AM

                  There is plenty of sparkling red made in the Loire. To my mind it is not very pleasant - an acquired taste one might say...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: dustbuddy
                    wineglas1 RE: dustbuddy Apr 8, 2011 10:58 AM

                    If it is not from Champagne or California (some from Oregon) I am not drinking it.

                    Cava and Prosecco are drinkable but over hyped by the industry as an alternative. Many Cava wines are a little more interesting than mineral water.

                    1. re: wineglas1
                      Ricardo Malocchio RE: wineglas1 Apr 8, 2011 11:51 AM

                      Never had a red cava or prosecco (though I have greatly enjoyed some of the whites). Learn something new everyday.

                      1. re: Ricardo Malocchio
                        Brad Ballinger RE: Ricardo Malocchio Apr 8, 2011 02:08 PM

                        Ricardo, I don't think wineglas1 brought up Cava and Prosecco as examples of red wine (prosecco is acutally a white grape, so a red prosecco sparkling wine would really be something). Rather, I think wineglas1 interrupted the thread to just state the sparkling wines s/he will allow to cross his/her lips. Not really on topic.

                        1. re: Brad Ballinger
                          wineglas1 RE: Brad Ballinger Apr 8, 2011 05:27 PM

                          Thanks Brad. I did not intend it to be red grapes.

                  2. Chinon00 RE: TheWineScoop Apr 9, 2011 09:52 PM

                    Lambrusco. Big punch of fruit and frizzante up front with a dry tannic finish. Good food wine. Like it with Chinese dishes particularly pork.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Chinon00
                      bulavinaka RE: Chinon00 Apr 10, 2011 02:49 PM

                      +2 on sparkling lambrusco, and for the same food, including most Thai.

                      1. re: bulavinaka
                        MMRuth RE: bulavinaka Apr 10, 2011 03:50 PM

                        I'm fan as well. Love the idea of drinking it with pork. Wonder how it would hold up with duck?

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          bulavinaka RE: MMRuth Apr 10, 2011 05:41 PM

                          Hmmm - duck - That might work... what kind of duck dish are you thinking of?

                          1. re: bulavinaka
                            MMRuth RE: bulavinaka Apr 10, 2011 05:52 PM

                            Nothing in particular ... was just a random thought.

                            1. re: bulavinaka
                              PolarBear RE: bulavinaka Apr 10, 2011 07:04 PM

                              Cold? (sorry)

                              1. re: PolarBear
                                Akitist RE: PolarBear Apr 14, 2011 09:30 AM

                                Don't cold and Polar go together?

                      2. t
                        TheWineScoop RE: TheWineScoop Apr 12, 2011 10:53 PM

                        Thanks for your recommendations. I'm going to make a list and go shopping.

                        1. b
                          bricap RE: TheWineScoop Apr 15, 2011 08:33 AM

                          I had a red Txakolina that I really enjoyed awhile back, can't remember the label. I'd say the white version is probably better, but I did like the red. This isn't a true sparkling wine, though. It's merely a bit effervescent.

                          1. m
                            masha RE: TheWineScoop Apr 15, 2011 08:40 AM

                            Any thoughts about using a sparkling red for cooking? I received a sparkling Shiraz as a gift awhile back and cannot imagine drinking it, especially after reading the comments on this post.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: masha
                              zin1953 RE: masha Apr 15, 2011 06:23 PM

                              Why not? It works great, in fact, with turkey . . . . (for example).

                              1. re: zin1953
                                TheDewster RE: zin1953 Apr 21, 2011 06:41 AM

                                My dad loves the stuff at christmas because it is sweet and not bone dry like the Krug I brought home. It is a fun pleasant drink and cheap.

                                1. re: TheDewster
                                  artychokeasana RE: TheDewster Apr 26, 2011 08:46 AM

                                  Good Soaarkling Shiraz is not cheap-unless ~$20 a bottle is cheap for you. It is also not sweet. You might be thinking of Cold Duck?

                                  1. re: artychokeasana
                                    masha RE: artychokeasana Apr 26, 2011 08:52 AM

                                    I tend to doubt that this bottle cost $20. It was in a gift basket from a coworker who typically spends about $20 for everything. My guess is the bottle cost about $10. And, yes, when I saw the bottle I did think of the Cold Duck that I drank in the 70s.

                                    My question stands. Can it be used for cooking? (Assume that I open the bottle, have a taste & don't like it. Will I be able to cook with it?)

                                    1. re: masha
                                      artychokeasana RE: masha Apr 26, 2011 09:07 AM

                                      what's the brand? As for cooking-I don't reallly know. Hopefully someone else will. I would google cooking with champagne and see what the comments are and apply that info to the sparkling shiraz

                                    2. re: artychokeasana
                                      TheDewster RE: artychokeasana Apr 28, 2011 05:34 AM

                                      Not Baby duck that stuff tastes like baking soda

                                2. re: masha
                                  redips RE: masha Apr 26, 2011 05:25 AM

                                  You can't imagine drinking it? Have you tried it? Wait... have you developed a pre-conceived notion about something you haven't even tried? Why? Because other people say they didn't like it? Seriously?

                                  This isn't directed specifically at you, rather a general statement, so please don't take offense. This attitude about wine is whats wrong with it. We rely too much on others opinions, writeups, publications, shelf talkers, bottle neckers, Robert Parker this, Steven Tanzer that, Gary Vee says, Jancis Robinson says, etc. Sure they may point us in the right direction, but people get so caught up in the 'snobbery' (I know hounders love that word) of it that they fail to trust their own taste - which, like everything else on a human, varies from person to person.

                                  I'm not saying you'd like it, in fact my educated analysis of sparkling shiraz is above should you care to read it, but without trying everything, you'll never know what you like. The best wines aren't always expensive, the worst wines aren't always cheap.

                                  Bottoms up

                                  1. re: redips
                                    zin1953 RE: redips Apr 26, 2011 06:56 AM

                                    Absolutely right!

                                    1. re: zin1953
                                      jock RE: zin1953 Apr 26, 2011 02:11 PM

                                      Absolutely, absolutely right, of course, unless it is my opinion.

                                      1. re: jock
                                        redips RE: jock Apr 26, 2011 04:45 PM

                                        Well yah, of course, lol.

                                  2. re: masha
                                    artychokeasana RE: masha Apr 26, 2011 08:48 AM

                                    I think it is delicious and suggest that you at least try it. I love it with smokey, spicy Chinese food. And as Zin1953 said it is good with turkey-or Peking duck :-)

                                  3. artychokeasana RE: TheWineScoop Apr 21, 2011 07:25 AM

                                    Fox Creek makes a great sparkling Shiraz that is exported to the US.

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