Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of wine. It is a world POWER when it comes to vino. But never did I think so highly of the country’s selection until I tried a sparkling shiraz. Now, I must clarify that I am by no means a sommelier, or even an expert (I actually know very little about wine). But, I do drink a lot of it and I know what I like — and I like sparkling shiraz.
My first taste of sparkling shiraz was at Bellbrae Estate Winery, which is along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
I had never had a sparkling shiraz, but I was mostly keen to try it because of it’s name, ‘Winkipop’ (which I soon found out is the name of a surf beach in Oz). Winkipop tasted exactly how you would want a sparkling red to taste. It had a full-bodied flavour, but yet somehow was light and refreshing at the same time. It had a slight sweetness to it, and was rich, but also somewhat acidic with the bubbles. To put it simply, it was delicious.
I was so taken by it (buzzed?) I didn’t take a single picture…as you can probably tell from my images sourced from the Bellbrae website (eyeroll). However, we did go to another winery, and while they don’t make a sparkling shiraz, they’re wine is top notch, and the vineyard was in an extremely picturesque location so I DID take pictures there.
This is the Jack Rabbit Vineyard in Geelong. It was right on the coast, and offered what I would guess to be one of the best views of all the wineries in the Bellarine region.
Across the water you can even see Melbourne. And even more fancy…this winery has a helipad, in case that’s how you roll.
They also serve dinner –and the food is supposed to be spectacular.
But we came in the afternoon just as they were closing so we just sat on the patio for a quick glass of wine.
I had a glass of sauvignon blanc, and while I definitely didn’t have the same reaction to it as I did the Winkipop sparkling shiraz, it was light, refreshing, and perfectly complimented by the panoramic views.
Now to find a good sparkling shiraz at a wine shop in Canada…any recommendations?