annies-lane-sparkling-shiraz Photo Steve DavisOur Xmas Eve gathering – episode 018 – enjoyed an Annie’s Lane Watervale Sparking Shiraz NV, which was the perfect match to the warm evening and barbecued delights.

Apart from being an enjoyable drop, the great talking point with this sparkling wine was the closure – it is a crown cap, as seen on many beer bottles.

If this has been done as a marketing ploy, it works, because chatter about the cap lasted a good 15-20 minutes.

We learned that in most sparkling wine production, these caps are used during bottle fermentation, before their final preparation and insertion of the traditional cork, wire and foil combination we are used to.

We also opined that if it does the job, it does the job.

The wine delivers savoury fruits amid gentle mousse.

We also discussed the Non Vintage aspect of the wine, noting that wine in the bottle had an average age of five years at time of release.

It was noted that a winemaker fresh from a 1000+, three day tasting masterclass, shared that NV champagne from the five main houses of French wine all OUTSHONE the vintage champagne.

He posited the theory that not being limited to a particular vintage allowed the winemakers to mix and match to achieve a desired outcome.

Make room for a bottle or two of this drop in your esky this summer.