Whodda thunk it!

a couple of weeks ago, I went to The Jug Shop’s annual Sparkling Shiraz Extravaganza. While there, I tasted through 11 examples of sparkling shiraz, a very interesting red quaffer that I’d only tasted once before. In Australia. When I was drunk.

Even though I went in with preconceived notions, I was pleasantly surprised at the variety and flavor these sparking reds provided. They are a great accompaniment for meat dishes, and I think I may even serve one at Thanksgiving!

Here are my results, which you can compare with The Jug Shop’s official notes here. I have used a 5 star scale, to test it out but I have a lot of middle of the road notes so bear with me as I expand my palate here.

I did not review the last two wines, so I apologize!

The official results are:

Best To Worst… Please Rank—1 = Best, 10 = Worst
Barossa Valley Estate “E&E Black Pepper” 2002 = 2.17
Elderton “Ashmead Family Reserve” NV = 3.83
Wild Duck Creek #3 NV = 4.33
Majella 2005 = 4.33
Charles Melton NV = 4.92
Trevor Jones NV = 5.17
Bleasdale “Red Brute” NV = 5.58
Hardy’s NV = 7.83
Paringa 2004 = 8.0
Black Chook NV = 8.75
Best Value… Choose One
2nd Paringa 2004—$9.99
3rd Hardy’s NV—$19.99
4th Black Chook NV—$19.99
1st by landslide Bleasdale “Red Brute” NV—$19.99
If I Were Stuck On A Desert Island… Choose One
Rank Wine
Paringa 2004—$9.99
Hardy’s NV—$19.99
Black Chook NV—$19.99
Bleasdale “Red Brute” NV—$19.99
tie for 3rd Majella 2005—$29.99
2nd Trevor Jones NV—$39.99
Charles Melton NV—$39.99
tie for 3rd Wild Duck Creek #3 NV—$59.99
1st by landslide Barossa Valley Estate “E&E Black Pepper”
tie for 3rd Elderton “Ashmead Family Reserve” NV

The Line Up
I would reccomend these wines as an alternative to a classic sparkler, particularly if you are sreving them with a meal. The less fruity varietals are best with meaty dishees, while the fruiter less expensive examples are great on their own as well as affordable!


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