New Year’s Eve: It’s all about the bubbles.

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Originally posted December 31, 2009

I am not a huge fan of New Years Eve, and since I am not doing anything even remotely exciting this year, I figured I would just talk about something interesting that has already happened. Hey, its better than nothing.

Cut to dream sequence: Me in summer attire, 25 degrees and humid, skipping down the road at about dusk (along the beach) to the bottle shop to pick up a decent sparkling red for $10 AUD. Yes I said sparkling RED. Something the Aussies enjoy around the holidays, and year round. In particular; a seriously fantastic bottle of Sparkling Shiraz Pinot from Domaine Chandon in the Yarra Valley near Melbourne , Victoria . This will run you $25 AUD (did I mention that the Canadian dollar is better than the Australian dollar?) and you drink chilled. I love this wine so much I braved sending a couple bottles back in my checked luggage for 24-hour duration of multi-continent travel. They made it here safe.

Right now as far as I know the sparkling red scene is limited in Halifax . I know at Bishop’s Cellar you can get a bottle of Peter Lehmann’s Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz for $46. I also know exactly where in the store it is located – often times I stare at it longingly.

Also I know that Scanway Catering has ordered in some Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz and offers it on their banquet menu at the Four Points by Sheraton and off-site functions. I have tasted this a few times and its not bad – no Chandon, but not bad. It is tasty enough for you to get the picture, and uncommon enough to be a treat. For me, normally a red drinker, to be able to have something bubbly, chilled and refreshing and still be red wine is a very happy place.

I just can’t get that sparkling shiraz pinot out of my head. Then again, they do say that the Domaine Chandon which was built in the Yarra Valley by Moet et Chandon is producing sparkling wines that are THE closest thing to authentic Champagne anywhere outside of Champagne , France . Or maybe that was just another crazy tale the Aussies told me while I was there – either way, I toured the domaine and tasted several of their sparkling (and still) beverages – and I believe them.

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