David Hickinbotham loves Australian Rules Football. That makes him okay in my book. I don't understand the rules, which are apparently a big part of the sport, but I love to watch the games, especially the officiating. Those guys in the white smocks declare scores and infractions with such gusto.
Long ago, I was attracted to a woman from Australia and I asked her out to dinner. At the restaurant, she revealed that her brother was an ARF referee. For the rest of the evening, that's all I could talk about. She finally said, "Look, why don't I give you HIS number?" She never went out with me again. She didn’t give me her brother's number, either. But I still like Australian wines, especially really good ones.
My love of Australian sparkling Shiraz is similar. I am fascinated by it. It's dark ruby, but it has bubbles. At its best, it is a very complex wine that really sneaks up on the sipper. For a winery that delivers value wines of quality, it's a great choice. Alcohol is a reasonable 12.5% abv and the wine sells online for well below the $20 mark.
The Paringa Sparkling Shiraz 2016 is a dark wine with a big, grapey nose and a blast of leather and meat coming right behind. It's an interesting combo, such a simple beginning that turns complex on a dime. The palate is just as brash, with subdued bubbles, keen acidity and a dark, fruity taste. Think Lambrusco, but bigger. The earth profile hits late and stays on the finish. It's fun, but it's serious, too.
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