Six months ago I stumbled across a woman who has since become legendary in my eyes. Her name is Cheryl Marshall, and she is an internet sensation! With her broad Perth accent, she taught the world it WAS possible to make ‘Aussie Champagne’ using nothing other than Cask Wine (box wine) and a SodaStream. With Elton John’s Crocodile Rock blaring in the background, we were hooked.
I loved Cheryl’s entrepreneurial spirit, but what would it taste like if you used better quality wine? And then my mind went racing – was it possible to make a true Aussie classic with a SodaStream – the Sparkling Shiraz.
Our readers from overseas probably think I’m crazy – but full flavoured sparkling red wines have been a thing in Australia since the 1880s, when they were originally called Sparkling Burgundy. And they kept that name right up until the 1990s; which is odd, considering the wine is neither French, nor were they made with Pinot Noir.
If I was gonna do this right – forget using a $10 bottle of wine with the SodaStream – what if we really amped up the stakes and used a top quality Shiraz, from one of Australia’s best wine regions.
The first time I made it – it was a raging success, except there were no cameras filming that experiment. The second time I made it, disaster! But I take full responsibility for that failure.
(Shot on iPhone 6 Plus)
I was with top Australian food blogger (and good time gal), Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella; we aerated the wine for too long. When you do this, the overflow valve kicks into gear, and you lose half the wine! Woops. I also believe the wine wasn’t cold enough. It was a hot day and we were videoing in the back yard of my home (we filmed outside because I was so afraid that it would explode!)
The third time I made it – a complete success! I believe I have now refined the process (see below recipe and video). This new blend was so sucessful, I cannot pick the difference between my version and a Sparkling Shiraz that is the real deal; a wine that has gone through a secondary fermentation in order to obtain the all important bubbles.
The secet of course is using a top quality, warm climate shiraz with stacks of fruit flavour. I’m really loving McLaren Vale Shiraz at the moment, you could also use a Grenach or even Cabernet Sauvignon. Try not to use a wine with heavy tannins and lots of new oak. You want the wine to have an excellent expression of fruit. Lately, McLaren Vale has been putting a lot of effort into letting its fruit shine, using older oak in their wines. Check them out!
So in the words of our new best friend, Cheryl Marshall of Perth (legend of the SodaStream Champagne), “it’s Bloody Beautiful, Bon Appetite. Catch ya later – I’ve got drinking to do!”
What you need to make SodaStream Sparkling Shiraz
- Warm climate Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon or Grenache or Merlot or Malbec etc. Look for juicy, rich and opulent flavours. Look for New World regions such as McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Rutherglen, Clare Valley, Napa Valley, Sonoma etc
- Chill the wine right down in the freezer – otherwise it will foam and overflow
- Add the wine to the SodaStream bottle, you can also add a splash more wine from another bottle
- Then add approximately 150mls of sweet tawny port. You don’t have to use expensive port, I use a cheap supermarket brand that costs $8 a bottle.
- The final wine must real the fill line on the bottle
- Insert the bottle into the SodaStream
- Fizz the wine up – but the second it start to overflow – STOP
- Let it sit for three minutes before releasing the bottle
- Before releasing the bottle from the holder, gradually let the air out, bit by bit – this will take 4-5 semi-releases
- If you release the bottle straight away from the SodaStream, 50% of its contents will be wasted – it will overflow (you have been warned!)
- Shazam – that’s how you make Sparkling Shiraz
- Make sure you serve it in a red wine glass – not a Champagne flute. It’s the best way to appreciate the beautiful aromas
What foods can you eat with Sparkling Shiraz?
Spicy Asian dishes, roast meats (duck, roast Chinese pork, rich curries). This is a surprisingly food friendly wine. And because it’s chilled, you can serve it during summer.
Give us your thoughts on this fun concept below… we know you have some!