Occasion To Stray

Blog: The Chicks Uncorked

If you’ve been following The Chicks at all, you may have picked up on the fact that my deepest, most fulfilling wine love is Apothic Red. A restaurant owner introduced me to it about 10 years ago, shortly after it came to market, and it’s safe/sad to say I have spent thousands of dollars on it since. It’s in the $10 range so if you do the math you’ll see I’m seriously committed to this exceptional dry red blend.

Apothic Red is the wine I drink most often; it’s the one I cozy up with on the couch for some guilty-pleasure TV; and it’s the one that takes up the most space in my wine cabinet. And thankfully, it’s the one that always takes me back sans judgment after a few exploratory playdates with others …

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love trying new wines and sampling all kinds of them — red, white, rose, sangria, champagne. Heck, I even indulge in the occasional plum wine or Camelot Mead. And I’ve been gifted some amazing bottles and cases of wines over the years and loved every drop.

But along the way I realized I primarily should stick with what I love most and not expend too much time, money and calories on an experience I enjoy less just for the sake of expanding my wine horizons.

However, there is one wine that has made the cut and survived my “time, money, calorie” test: Paringa Sparkling Shiraz. This is a dryish red, sparkly piece of heaven introduced to me by yet another restaurant owner, even before Apothic Red was born. The idea of a red with bubbles fascinated me, and it truly was love at first sip. In fact, I was doing some marketing work with this restaurant, and the owner supplemented my pay with the occasional case of Paringa as it wasn’t sold in local stores.

I don’t know why Sparkling Shiraz hasn’t become a viral vintage. To my amateur yet raving palette, it combines the depth and bold satisfaction of Apothic with jaunty effervescence. I mean, whoa, come on! What more could a Chick want??

It’s produced in the same way a Prosecco is made (a second round of fermentation takes place in steel tanks) in South Australia by the family owned and operated Paringa Wines. It’s a deep magenta/crimson with velvety hints of plum, chocolate and berries and an extremely satisfying finish.

Unlike Apothic, Paringa Sparkling Shiraz is tough to find, and it’s a little pricier (I usually pay about $17.99/bottle). Its scarcity, price and bubbly exquisiteness make Paringa a rare treat so I put it in the special occasion category (the occasion being the wine itself!). In fact it’s been a year since I’ve had it, but in a few weeks I’ll be on a working vacation within walking distance of a liquor store that wisely keeps it well stocked.

I’ll let you know how my 2021 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz adventure plays out, and if you can find yourself a bottle of it, indulge, and let me know if it makes you want to drape yourself in velvet. At the very least it should leave you with a warm glow and a sparkle in your eye.

Authored by Trie … check out her Four Excellent Wine Adventures and Unencumbered With A Sip & A Smile and get to know more about her and her fine time with wine!

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