I have to confess that sparkling wines aren’t a passion of mine … I’d generally rather spend my alcohol quota on still wine … but some occasions just seem to call for fizz. I find good sparkling rosé a little more savoury, and therefore more versatile, than its white counterpart … and I love the pale pink blush. While we’re talking bubbles, can we please make a pact never ever to use the word “Champagne” in reference to any wine that doesn’t come from the French region of Champagne. It’s not a question of prestige, cool Tasmania produces sparkling wines that many consider rival the best Champagnes. Sparkling wines are produced all over the wine-making world – some are serious, some are more frivolous – but it’s time we stopped calling everything with bubbles, Champagne.
Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé NV Champagne
This serious full-bodied wine has stone fruit and citrus on the nose plus hints of violets, orange blossom and buttery biscuits. The rich, long palate has more typical cherry, raspberry and cassis red fruit flavours and savoury notes that make it great with charcuterie like Prosciutto San Daniele.
House of Arras Rosé 2006 Tasmania
Arras produces only sparkling wines from cool climate Tassie fruit, which are widely regarded as rivalling the best Champagnes. This rosé spends seven years on lees, giving it a complex, spicy nose of brioche and nougat and a slightly savoury, truffled flavour. Great with smoked salmon.
Jacquart Rosé Mosaique NV Champagne
I like tradition – but I also like the idea of a group of small growers, tired of selling to the big boys, forming a new Champagne house in the 1960s. And I like this wine’s cherry, red currant and plum aromas and strawberry and stone fruit flavours. Try it with prawns and sauce Marie Rose.
Jansz Vintage Rosé 2013 Tasmania
This Tassie winery, established in collaboration with Champagne house Louis Roederer, also only produces sparkling. Their 2013 rosé has a long palate of red fruit, Turkish delight and truffles with toasted brioche, rose and quince on the nose. Perfect with blue cheese and quince paste.
Dal Zotto Pink Pucino NV King Valley (VIC)
If all this serious wine stuff is a bit much for your taste, or pocket, try this playful blend of prosecco and moscato from arguably Australia’s best prosecco producer. Lively and soft, with a gentle spritz, grapey aroma (from the muscat) and pear and citrus flavours, it’s ideal with fresh fruit.