Hosting tips for the Holidays!

It’s official – silly season has arrived! At Merchants we love a party, and we’ve got the hottest tips to keep your wine cool and your party happening!

Sparkling Shiraz is the ultimate party drop – red wine with bubbles served super-chilled – guaranteed to pep up even the dullest of gatherings!

We’re loving the Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Shiraz – the winner of the trophy for Best Sparkling Red following the release of the 2017 Australian Sparkling Wine Show results.
(Congrats Andrew Koerner and team!)


To produce this Western Victorian specialty, the winemaking team at Blue Pyrenees Estate choose select parcels of fruit from the estate vineyard. Eighteen months in oak vats & barrels, followed by 1-2 years bottle maturation before disgorging allows the production of a methode traditionnelle sparkling Shiraz which expresses the terroir of the estate in a full- flavoured yet elegant style.

Aromas of spice, ripe plummy fruit, a hint of oak & mature chocolate characters lead seamlessly into flavours of sweet spiced dark plum fruit & rich chocolate confection. Lingering soft tannins, spices & a dry finish create a versatile food match that pairs beautifully with a wide range of dishes. We’ve paired it with everything from smoked mackarel to vanilla ice-cream and it works a dream!

The trophy for Best Sparkling Red Wine joins a collection of impressive accolades for this ever consistent non-vintage sparkling Shiraz, including three in a row, Gold / Blue Gold (Top 100) at the 2016, 2017 & 2018 Sydney International Wine Competitions, where wines are uniquely judged with food

We especially love Sparkling Shiraz in Australia at Christmas time and it pairs with everything from baked turkey, smoked fish, BBQ sausages to chocolate ice-cream and Xmas pudding as we found at our recent Festive Wine Dinner at Merchants!

Another critical party tip is temperature – make sure your bubbles are served super-cold for optimum enjoyment – around 10 degrees Celsius. A good old Aussie tip is to fill the bathtub with ice to keep the bottles ultra-chilled on smoking hot summer days! When guests arrive, they plonk their plonk in the bath before joining the throng!

Finally, we are fanatical about clean glasses! Be sure there is not a skerrick of dishwashing soap residue on the glasses – it will ruin the flavour and burst your bubble, (and there’s nothing’s worse than flat fizz!!)

Appropriate glassware is always a good thing too – flutes will keep the bubbles in your bubbles
Cheers everybody and Happy Holidays!!!

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