Sparkling Shiraz – The perfect pizza wine!

seppelt original sparkling shiraz and dominos pizza wine blog great nice best wine online wine wankersI still clearly remember the first time I actually enjoyed sparkling shiraz.  It’s one of those moments etched into the crevices of my mind.  I probably remember it so well not only because of the enjoyment I had but also because I was humbled.  My approach to the subject of sparkling shiraz had been both arrogant and ignorant and I got pounded by the experience.

A few years ago now I was invited to a pizza and wine party.  Of course my plan was to show off with an awesome red wine and to gloat about it like a good wine wanker does.  So when a lovely lady turned up with a sparkling shiraz I giggled to myself…  “lol, so what’s that, some fizzy red cordial I see”.

seppelt original sparkling shiraz and dominos pizza wine blog great nice best wine online wine wankers 2011Sparkling red wine had gained a reputation in Australia as cheap, sweet and icky, but as I was to discover through my wine journeys, this was not always the case.  Up until the 1970s sparkling shiraz was known as a beautifully crafted mostly dry-style bubbly wine.  It was enjoyed so much it was copied and sweetened up for the trendy mass market who were sucking back gallons of overly sweet Rieslings.

Sparkling shiraz died in the arse until just a few years before I had my memorable introduction to the joys it can provide.  It is now being made at its best once again!  And the world is much better for it, a crazy little Aussie quirk indeed.

Here’s an interesting article by James Halliday about sparkling shiraz, a must read for the more enthusiastic wine lovers amongst you.

seppelt original sparkling shiraz and pizza wine blog great nice best wine online wine wankersSo, at the pizza party, the lovely lady with the bottle of red bubbles said to me “Are you sure you don’t want to try this, it’s the perfect pizza wine?”. My response “Ummm, that stuff can’t be any good now can it?”.  She could tell my ears were pricked and said with a smile “You’ve never tried it now have you?  Go on, you know you want to!”.

And with that I took a sniff, it smelt great with cherry and blackcurrant popping in my nose, and then I took a sip, while some pizza remained in my mouth, and BAMMM!

She was so right, and I was so humbled.  Something about the wine just cut through the fat of the pizza and created an extremely interesting array of flavours in my mouth.  That was it, I was hooked!

Late last year I came across a few bottles of 1972 Seppelt Show Reserve Sparkling Burgundy at auction and I just had to get me some! (It’s actually not Burgundy but shiraz.  I touched on this wine labelling issue in my post “From failure to success!”.) Although the bubbles had mostly dropped away to a light fizz the two bottles I have had were both sensational.  Still packing loads of berry fruits flavours!  I can’t wait to have my last remaining bottle, but I’m holding out because once it’s gone I’m unlikely to ever find this wine again!

???????????????????????????????Serious wine buffs should read the story of the Seppelt Show Reserve Sparkling Shiraz by clicking here.  It’s a fascinating story confirming the death of sparkling shiraz and it’s re-emergence in the late 90s.

It’s really starting to heat up here in Aus and a sparkling shiraz is the perfect way to enjoy a red wine when it is warm.  So I bought a bottle of 2011 Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz to down along with a tasty pizza.  Beautiful!  As usual the bubbles cut through the fat in the pizza and that tiny bit of residual sugar combined with the array of raspberry, blackberry and blackcurrant flavours just combined so well with the savouryness of the pizza.  Just make sure it’s slightly chilled but not cold!

And the pizza was a Domino’s Chef’s Best chicken and camembert (with rasher bacon).  Like sparkling shiraz, you may have the same misgiven thoughts on this too!  🙂

So how can a wine tasting of delicious bubbly red berries go with a savoury and spicy pizza?  Dunno!  Life is a mystery, even if it’s a strange wine and food combo that has a wine wanker like me stumped.

Give it a go!

Author: Conrad



  1. Good idea Kim. I can’t recall seeing a sparkling Shiraz at our local but Lambrusco is one of our family tradition summer drinks, so I will have to give this a try. Hopefully it will work as well with homemade pizza, as this is my favourite kind.


  2. Hello, Conrad — Just a note to express my appreciation to you for clicking the “like” button on so many of my haiku! Thanks a ton. Though my credentials as a wine connoisseur are nil, I do enjoy a good glass of wine from time to time at a fine restaurant. Even more, though, I enjoy your superb writing and top-shelf blog! How you do it day in and day out is a mystery to me! But keep ’em coming. Your posts never fail to put a smile on my face! *** 🙂 ***

    Warmest Respect,



  3. The first thing I looked at what the picture and I immediately thought, that’s a very cherry red. Then I read your article…ah, there it is…hey, I must be learning something here!


  4. This a great style to have with bacon and eggs on Christmas morning. There is a big difference also e&e is great Rockford do a fantastic one also.


  5. Have just finished (shared) a lovely bottle of Black Chook sparkling Shiraz. Love, love, love my sparkling reds. Drink them with duck, turkey, pork, lamb, well anything really. Such heavenly variety available from the formidable Rockford basket pressed black Shiraz to the daily quaffing varieties such as the Black Chook, d’Arenberg peppermint paddock, the Bleasdale and the Seppelts. Just love them.


  6. We purchased a Benefactor Shiraz yesterday after church while out and about in the capital of Texas, and I did declare, “An Australian Shiraz! That reminds me of the Wine Wankers!” It had little dancing skeletons on it, so I bought it, and it paired nicely with a simple salad. No bitter aftertaste, went down smoothly. So just know that a person a bajillion miles away thought of you while shopping in the frosty, cold Christmas air.


  7. Reblogged this on The Wine Wankers and commented:

    Today on Twitter I saw someone challenge the concept of sparkling red wine. I love a good red sparkler especially a really well made sparkling shiraz. And they go so well with pizza. Something about these wines cuts right through the fat and creates a beautiful blended taste of food and wine in your mouth.
    I’ve been told that sparkling shiraz goes well with a bacon and eggs fry-up the morning after a big night. I still haven’t been brave enough to try that one yet but it is on the list of my food and wine pairing must-dos!


    • Eggs and bacon definitely fill the grease-and-protein hangover cure ingredients. Sparkling shiraz should do well in the hair-of-the-dog department.

      I had a similar “Holy shit! Why didn’t somebody tell me?” experience with ruby port and blue cheese. I love it when I learn about mouth magic combinations like that.


  8. Reblogged this on The Unfolding and commented:
    I can’t decide whether this story most “had me” at ‘wine’ or ‘pizza’, but, lordy, combined…, it’s a must-read. 🙂


  9. It just so happens that I have a bottle of Katnook Founder’s Sparkling Shiraz down below. A recommendation of a friend. Never found a suitable time to have. Confession: I have no idea what a suitable time would be. Until now. Thanks, Conrad.


  10. I love that you shared this because Sparkling Shiraz was not even on my radar! Nor did I know that Dominoes made fancy pizza! 🙂 I’ll have to check out their menu here in the US…and look for a Sparkling Shiraz next time I visit my favorite wine shop!


  11. I think Argyle Winery here in Oregon made a sparkling Shiraz at one time, but I don’t see it listed now. I’ve had it before and it is quite different, and worth trying again.


  12. I’ve seen a few people mention Lambrusco which would be my go to for a bubbly red to go with pizza. Lambrusco suffered much the same fate as the classic Aussie sparkling red wine, and became for the most part mass-produced, under-valued and sickly sweet. Finding a good balanced lambrusco these days is pretty tough, even in Italy, but when you get one that has a lovely balance between dry savoury notes and a bit of soft fruit sweetness, it can be one of the best food wines around. My difficulty with a lot of Aussie sparkling reds is that they are a bit too heavy, mostly coming from very hot climates. This means they need a fair whack of sugar dosage to offset the weight and extra tannin. So a nice lightish dry example is my favourite. Although to be honest, I’m more likely to reach for a sangiovese with pizza… Thanks for sharing Conrad!


  13. Conrad,

    Have I ever told you that I love y’all’s blog? And your profile pic is fantastic 🙂 We’ll have some homemade wine coming your way soon!

    And yes… Wine and pizza is awesome! So is wine and blogging… HA! 🙊



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