Froth And Bubble


It’s that time of year: a disproportionate volume of sparkling wine is sold in December-January, when it’s used to either drown our sorrows after a bad year or celebrate a good one.

Oh, and there’s the small matter of the Christmas-New Year shenanigans to justify cracking a bottle of fizz or two. Frankly, I need little excuse, and drink Champagne all year-round (because I love it). And the discounters’ prices are now so low that you’d have to be Scrooge not to be buying more than ever before.

I taste sparkling wine all year-round so this is not a definitive Christmas round-up, but there are about 60 new notes ranging from $11 to $140 bottles. There’s something for everyone’s pocket.

The highlights are a couple of superb Champagnes from Bruno Paillard (tastings) (and one disappointment), two more from H. Blin (tastings) (imported by the parallel-importing whipping-boys Kollaras), Le Mesnil (tastings) and Moet & Chandon (tastings) (I know this is heresy, but for the third successive year I find the NV Brut Imperial very good).

And in local bubbles, there are some lovely wines from Kate and Hamish Laurie at Deviation Road (tastings) in the Adelaide Hills; also Macedon Ridge (tastings), Printhie’s exciting new Swift NV, a great-value $30 fizz from Stonier (tastings), an impressive 2010 (tastings) from Domaine Chandon (tastings) and the old faithful of sparkling red (tastings), Bleasdale (tastings), pops up again. Santé! 

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