Why Sparkling Shiraz?

Why Sparkling Shiraz?

Sparkling Shiraz is one of Australia’s unique contributions to the world of wine. It also happens to be one of the few cases where the output matches what many Australians imagine ourselves to be: fun-loving yet complex. “Sparkling Burgundy” began production in Victoria in the 1880’s, and has had various ups and downs for the past 130 years. Peter Rumball’s account of Sparkling Shiraz history is succinct and informative (though the page looks like it was designed on Geocities). I truly hope Sparkling Shiraz gradually has a resurgence with a genuinely appreciative collective-palate.

Sparkling Shiraz is ‘tacky’ but tasty. It’s unique, fun and sincere. It’s counter intuitive and greatly under-appreciated. Apparently there’s only about 60 wineries in Australia carrying on the tradition. I aim to try them all.

Thus, this blog has several purposes:

  • Advocacy: Australian Sparkling Shiraz is awesome; and the more who know that, the merrier…
  • Practice: a learn-as-I-go exercise. I have little experience with wine, but I love Sparkling Shiraz.
  • Sharing: C’mon… just try it once… it won’t hurt… it’ll do you good…
  • Thinly-veiled excuse: It’s (sometimes!) hard to justify an expensive bottle of fizzy red.
Occasionally, I may be distracted by another issue, but generally this blog will stick to Sparkling Shiraz and similar styles of Australian Sparkling Red. I hope you enjoy them too.

9 responses to “Why Sparkling Shiraz?

  1. Teddy Hernandez

    November 20, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Hey Mick! There’s something a bit screwy with that link (redirects to email log in screens). Can you try again?

    Hope you’re well

  2. gabriel

    December 11, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    Heh, there’s just something… dissonant, about the concept of “sparkling Shiraz”. I’ve never tried it; I don’t think I’ve ever seen it,tbh, but I will make the effort and see what I can find. Right now I’m working through a middling-quality Italian Merlot. I’m trying to imagine it with fizz. That isn’t really working for me, but I have at least, now, grappled with the idea of putting a Shiraz though my daughter’s Sodastream.

    I gotta admit, it seems like sacrilege =)

    • Teddy Hernandez

      December 11, 2011 at 9:21 AM

      Hi Gabriel,

      Certainly part of it’s appeal to me is that dissonance. Although it’s a “uniquely Australian” wine, many people over here are:
      a) not familiar with it;
      b) are familiar with it’s existence but have assumed it’s nasty
      c) are familiar with it from cheap and nasty ones and have assumed all in the style are similarly nasty (which of course is a logical fallacy; the mental processes involved in which I’m mulling over for a post about ‘common sense’ reasoning with alternative wines consumption and whether it can be viewed as a microcosm for cultural consumption and political reasoning too… far too ambitious to be pumped out any time soon).

      Oh, and I’m not sure if you’d seen the link, but the SodaStream idea isn’t too bad:
      Link 1:
      Link 2:

      But yes, if you see any bottles of fizzy Australian Red over there, feel free to check in with me first; I know we export a disproportionate amount of shit and keep most of the good stuff for ourselves…

    • Teddy Hernandez

      December 11, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      PS. I have a review for a Sparkling Merlot going up in the next week or so. It wasn’t particularly favourable….

  3. gabriel

    December 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    “I know we export a disproportionate amount of shit and keep most of the good stuff for ourselves…”

    A truism about every country for every export heh.

  4. mick

    May 30, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    mate, just got one of many regular emails today from offering the following: Honk, honk! Honk, honk! Got your attention now? Good! Don’t get caught in traffic and miss
    out on the gold medal winning Emeri Sparkling Shiraz. This brilliant bubbly red beat Champagne Collet Sparkling Rose NV ($52) and Fox Creek Vixen Sparkling Shiraz NV (91 points Halliday & $22.50) at the wine shows. Normally $14.95 each, TODAY YOU PAY ONLY $8.99 A BOTTLE. Now steering in another direction, we have the amazing Paul Bettio Chardonnay, which would normally set you back $15 a time. HOW ABOUT JUST $5.99 A BOTTLE? That’s 60% off! They had a smashing day on this day in 1896…literally! The first recorded car accident occurred when motorist Henry Wells driving his ‘Horseless Buggy’, knocked Ebeling Thomas off his ‘Penny Farthing’ on Broadway in New York City. Cheers, mick

  5. Michael Hince

    September 19, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Sparking red is not unique to Australia – There a Loire wine called Bouvet Rubis Excellence made from cabernet franc that’s imported by Nicks Wine Merchants. I’m at a loss to understand why sparkling shiraz and sparkling reds generally are not more popular with the Millennial generation?

    Michael Hince


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