by David Ellis from Vintnews.
Probably fewer things go more hand-in-glove than the Melbourne Cup, Champagne and Aussie sparkling wines – and whether you win or lose come the big day, raise a glass of the bubbly stuff about which Madame Lilly Bollinger of the famed French House once said of Champagne, "I drink it when I’m happy, and when I am sad… ”
Head over to our What's on section and find out about all the Melbourne Cup festivities near you.
Here we look at some Champagnes and sparkling wines for your Melbourne Cup celebrations, all chosen as great matches with a whole range of canapés and light finger food, and whether in the party-room or outdoors on the picnic-blanket.
If you want French, pick-up Bollinger’s Special Cuvee at around $55 – or go the whole way with their twin-pack Blanc de Noirs that’s a snap at Dan Murphy’s at $3000.
Closer to home Chandon Australia drew on fruit from Victoria’s cool climate Yarra and King Valleys and the Strathbogie Ranges, for their 2010 Vintage Brut that’s got a wonderful creamy texture, morello cherry and blood plum fruit flavours and crisp acidity; great buying at $41. Also from Victoria is a well-priced $20 Premium Cuvee Brut from Yarra Burn made from fruit from across a number of their vineyards, and with nice lifted citrus and stone-fruit flavours, coupled with nuances of toast and mushrooms.
And across the border Howard Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills has an excellent Sparkling Brut that’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with nice elegant citrus and stone-fruit flavours and notes of strawberries and raspberries. Only $20 a bottle in a 6-bottle pack plus $15 freight; order on the Howard Vineyard website – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
With the best of bubblies coming from cool to cold regions don’t forget Tasmania; Bay of Fires has several, but we particularly like their Cuvee Rosé made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit and with ripe strawberry and wild berry flavours and mushroom undertones. Pay $30 for this one.
And win or lose on Melbourne Cup Day, celebrate or commiserate with the world’s biggest-selling sparkling wine, Cordon Negro Brut from the Freixenet Winery in Spain that makes 200-million bottles of sparklings a year. You’ll find this a really rewarding party bubbly at just $15 with fresh apple, pear and bright citrus flavours.