Sparkling red wine?
You betcha! If there's an exciting new booze trend to be sniffed out, Muddy is ON IT. Meet the Oz alternative to champagne.
I’ve never met a Champagne I didn’t like but my head has been completely turned by this sparkling red, the bubbles of choice at the Muddy Awards drinks last week. Hugh Taylor, MD of Banbury wine merchant Slurp, persuaded me to give it a go and I was mightily impressed. It’s an Aussie sparkling Shiraz called SYN – the name on its own was enough to win me over quite frankly. You serve it chilled in tall flutes, as you would Champagne, but it’s cheaper (£13.95 a bottle) and a pretty scarlet shade which makes it a real talking point.
According to Hugh, as well as making a cracking aperitif or party drink, it goes well with robustly flavoured food, such as BBQ, Cajun, Italian and tapas. “Sparkling reds aren’t to everyone’s taste but they tend to have a certain freshness to them, with notes of raspberry and cherry,” he says.
Once you’re SYN-full you can also check out the Italians’ take on rouge bubbles – there are some decent red Lambruscos (yes, really) out there and Contero Brachetto d’Acqui is tasty too.
I’ll definitely be shipping in a few more crates for the Muddy wine cellar (well, cupboard). So many friends are talking about how bored they are of knocking back bland, same-y Prosecco and while Champagne will always have a place in my heart and bloodstream, it’s not exactly an everyday drink unless you’re Princess Margaret. Red bubbles are the way forward, I reckon. Try it and let me know how you get on – let’s call it a research project. Cheers!
Slurp, 2 Riverside, Tramway Road, Banbury OX16 5TU; 01295 672296. You can also order online at slurp.co.uk