Consider this – a respected Australian winemaker takes an iconic varietal and pairs it with an iconic name and produces a sparkling Shiraz.

Yes, an uncommon bond of the artistic and iconic works of a respected winemaker that leads to the unexpected.

Unexpected, except when it’s in the Wine Zone.

Ha! Only a few will get the obscure reference and recognize the photo but hats off to those folks.

Sparkling Shiraz – even the words seem misplaced in the same sentence. Still, I had an email one day offering up a sample of Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Sparkling Shiraz. The curiousity was killing me until the day it arrived and tonight when I opened it.

The marketing folks promoted the sparkling wine as a nice and satisfiying alternative for Thanksgiving. So tonight, I roasted a chicken with onions, apples, thyme and lots of rosemary. I made some sage dressing I added cranberries to and had my little pre-Thanksgiving feast!

I popped the cork on the Wyndham wine and really enjoyed it with my roasted hen. I’m still a little unsure of what to make of it.

The wine certainly has an effervesence as its poured into the glass. It has a dark crimson color and a nose of – imagine this – Shiraz! I picked up more oak on the nose than I did vanilla.

At first I was just confused by the fizz. But after the wine was open for awhile, I was appreciating the rich and spicy Shiraz flavor with the buzz. It’s a medium weight wine with a very soft finish. And, its definitely something different!

The wine comes from Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia. It’s 13.5 percent alcohol with a suggested retail price of $18.

There are several sparkling red wines from Australia, I’ve learned, and it may take another or two to know what I think of it.

I liked the wine. I’m not sure what to think of the effervesence but it sure is a change of pace. I’d recommend anyone try it. Some are going to love it as something as a big change of pace. I suspect others are going to think they’ve entered the Twilight Zone!

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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