I’VE SPENT ages wondering how to start off some words about a wine which, it transpires, people love or hate. Just now, just this minute, I mentioned it to someone and they said, ‘Oh, just like Marmite’. So here we are. Some words about Marmite, aka sparkling red wines.
As this week has been National Barbecue Week it seemed as good a time as any to write about sparkling reds with a barbie, as, in Oz, that’s the way to go.
You’ve probably seen mass-produced sparkling reds in supermarkets. They’ve never done much for me, so I set the stall out to seek some off the beaten track. We threw up the barbie, held up brollies in the rain, gathered chops and chicken and sausages and sauces, especially one with chilli, and began a Scientific Experiment. sparkler we tried was full on with bubbles. No simpering flurries of flighty froth. (£12.95, The Wine Society) was no exception with a waterfall of red bubbles. We chilled this for a few hours and alongside crunchy crispy chilli-smudged chicken and burnt sausages it was a rich match. It had chocolate and mocha hidden in its fruity depth. Again, a sipping drink.
A mega treat was
(£20.05, www.thedrinkshop.com); it was a contrast of savoury and sweet; dark fruits dancing in a purple froth, but with rich cherry flavour as in a liqueur; added woody dryness you get from a cocktail stick. Burnt sausages were perfect.
All of these were Aussie wines. I tried another from the New World, (£16.95, Slurp.co.uk). Alma is made in Argentina, from handpicked bonardo grapes using the traditional method. This was spicy with tongue-stick dryness. There were cherry and black fruit aromas and to taste a something-or-other I couldnt put my finger on until I decided it was allspice. Who knows my nose.
I’d never heard of white sangria, until I read about white sangria. And when I knew about it I decided to make one. I Googled and found versions including one by Nigella which included my teen drink Cointreau, and white wine.
My wine of choice was (£7.99, Sainsbury) which on its own is a decent perky sauv blanc; bright and fruity, balanced and fresh. The white sangria was an eye-opener and I’ll definitely make it again. Oranges and herbs and lemon and lime cutting through from the sauv blanc. Try it with lots of ice when friends come round.
Recipes from Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales by Glynn Purnell, out now published by Kyle Books, priced £19.99. Photography: Laura Edwards.
Also in my glass ...
Yellow Tail] Sauvignon Blanc