Rosé and Prosecco will always have a spot on our wine rack, but we’re looking forward to mixing things up a bit with sparkling red wine.
These wines will change how you think about sparklings—just be sure to serve them chilled for the best effect.
This sparkling red made from the Shiraz grape is traditional to Australia, where it’s produced in the premium Shiraz-growing regions. But because sparkling Shiraz got itself a bad reputation in America a while back, much like Lambrusco (see below), the latest high-quality sparkling Shiraz bottles can sometimes be hard to find— but are definitely worth tracking down. The wine—which has notes of blackberry, pepper, blueberry, tobacco and licorice—pairs beautifully with everything from tangy barbecue to roast turkey and even breakfast (yes, breakfast!). An egg and smoked salmon open-faced sandwich, for example, makes an ideal match. Bottles to try: Hardys Sparkling Shiraz, average price: $24; Rockford Sparkling Black Shiraz, from Australia, average price: $87. The Scarlet Letter Shiraz, average price: $24.
You’ve probably heard of Lambrusco, the most famous of the sparkling red wines. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Lambrusco was the biggest selling import wine in the United States, despite the fact that this was around the same time the wine had a reputation for being cheap and much too sweet. These days, Lambrusco producers in Italy are working hard to rid the wine of that image. Lambrusco comes in varying levels of dryness and sweetness, ranging from secco (bone-dry), to dolce (very sweet). Pair this highly acidic, berry-flavored sparkling red with rich foods like hard, salty cheeses, meaty pasta dishes and berry-stuffed pastries. As with most sparkling reds, Lambrusco should be enjoyed young and served chilled. Bottles to try: “Becco Rosso” Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetvo 2015, average price: $12.99; Pedere Cipolla Lambrusco dell’Emilia, average price: $15.99.
Sangue di Giuda dell’Oltrepo Pavese
This soda-like, deep ruby-red wine from the Southern Lombardy region of Italy is a blend of local grape varieties that are seldom seen, including the Croatina (“The Little Croatian Girl”) and Rava Uva (“Rare Grape”); it’s also one of the rarer, harder-to-find sparkling reds. It has an aroma reminiscent of a spice cake, and you can often pick up a distinct cherry scent too. Since this sparkling red is pretty rare, we recommend buying it online from places like Wine-Searcher. Drink it with tomato-based dishes and spicy foods. Bottles to try: Bruno Verdi 2004) Sangue di Giude Paradiso Oltrepo Pavese, average price: $11.99; ‘Costarosa’ Sangue di Giuda dell’Oltrepo Pavese, average price: $16.
This article originally appeared on BravoTV.com’s The Feast as Rosé Shmosé: Why Sparkling Red Wines Are What You Need to Be Drinking Right Now. See three more sparkling wines, and then get ready to impress everyone at holiday parties.