Shingleback McLaren Vale "Black Bubbles" Sparkling Shiraz ($21.99)
Inky dark purple, pours up with a frothy pink mousse; bubbles are lasting, with the persistent, pinpoint quality I would expect of a fine, classically made sparkling wine. Good black-fruit aromas blend plums and berries. Mouth-filling and fresh, bubbles add a creamy texture on the palate. Fresh and appropriately tart; although its residual sugar maps to moderate sweetness, carbonation and acid balance present a "dry" flavor impression. As quality sparkling Shiraz should, it shows the flavor profile of a fine McLaren Vale red with bubbles added; and that's fun. US Importer: Precept Brands, Seattle. (May 30, 2007)

FOOD MATCH: Usually drunk as a refreshing aperitif or for casual party sipping, this fine Shiraz will pair with red meat, is recommended with chocolate desserts, and shows surprisingly well with spicy Asian fare. It was remarkably good with the offbeat, aromatic West Chinese cumin lamb featured in yesterday's Wine Advisor FoodLetter.



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