I’m Seeing Red! Amazing Sparkling Red Wines

Cantina della Volta LambruscoAs the self-dubbed “Champagne Evangelist” it is no surprise that I absolutely love, love, LOVE champagne, but the real deal is that I am crazy about almost anything that’s effervescent. Yep, if it’s got bubbles, then 9 times out of 10 I’m ’bout it–or at least down to try it!

Because of that I’m always on a quest for the *next* favorite fizzy find. It requires a lot of searching, sipping, and experimentation, but I do it all sacrificially just for you, my fellow bubbly lovers. Yes dears, it’s all for YOU. {wink} And those kinds of hunting expedition and quests are exactly how I discovered sparkling red wines.

About 10 years ago I discovered sparkling Shiraz–yep, Shiraz made with bubbles! I was instantly hooked and have been drinking it ever since. But what I didn’t know up until a couple of years ago is that there is a whole little world of sparkling red wines out there just waiting to be discovered for our drinking delight!

Generally speaking, sparkling reds are a really cool option because they please both bubbly lovers and red wine drinkers. Plus, sparkling reds are perfect for entertaining because the effervescent aspect make the wine fun to drink, plus the red wine characteristics means it will pair well with a variety of foods and snacks.

Naturally then I’ve put together my personal list of some of a few of the best sparkling red wines for your effervescent sipping pleasure! The types I’ll be covering include a sparkling red from Australia; a sparkling red from Italy; a red champagne (!); and an American sparkling red.

The Chook Sparkling Shiraz–$18.00

Bubbly Day 2018 Chook Shiraz

As I mentioned before I absolutely love sparkling Shiraz! This Chook is one of my 2 “go to” Shriaz picks that I always keep a bottle of it in my stash.


The nose has bright red cherry, blueberry, and cinnamon spice. On the palate it’s a ripe and juicy wine with lush, dark berry fruitiness, and sweet, dark purple plum flavors. Better still is that it’s well structured due to the wine being aged in old French oak barrels, which makes it perfect to serve to guests.


One of my absolute fave pairings is popcorn, so check out my savory popcorn recipe. This wine would also work really well with barbecue ribs and pizza.


My other fave bottle is Paringa–it was actually the very first sparkling Shiraz I ever had. It used to be difficult to find, but I’m happy to report that it’s now much more widely available.

Jean Vesselle “Cuvee Friandise” Demi-Sec–$68.00

Sparkling Reds Jean VesselleI was introduced to this champagne at one of my favorite champagne spots in Houston called A’Bouzy {their champagne selection is KILLER}, named after a well known village in the Champagne region.

This wine is such a stunner, from the color all the way to the flavor profile. And it’s one of my beloved recoltant manipulant champagnes, which many of you may KNOW is close to my heart! This wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir, and during the wine making process the wine is allowed to remain in contact with the red Pinot Noir grapes, which gives the champagne it’s amazing color.


This wine has the most lovely fruity, floral nose on it that makes you think of springtime–then it takes an edgy turn with an interesting waft of smokiness. The flavors were full of raspberry, cranberry, blueberry, orange citrus, and baking spices. This champagne is a demi-sec, which means its’ dosage has more grams of sugar than a dry, Brut style bubbly, and therefore is crafted in a sweeter style.

If you’re one of those people who aren’t fully on board with a sweeter champagne style drinker that does’t mean you can’t still enjoy this one: this wine is far from being overly sweet, so pair it with a dessert and enjoy it that way. A good food and wine pairing match can win your palate over on styles you’re typically not into!


A pear tart with vanilla bean whipped cream or ice cream; a French “custard-y/pie-ish” dessert Cherry Clafoutis Fresh; or crème brûlée  topped with berries.

BUBBLEISTA QUIRKY PAIRING IDEA: I had this one with a lobster roll and was in heaven!!!

Cantina della Volta Lambrusco $19.00

Cantina della Volta LambruscoSo first things first: this ain’t your Gran-gran’s Lambrusco! And that’s a good thing too, because Lambrusco has been recovering from the terrible reputation it earned as a mass produced, poorly made, overly sweet plonk-of-a-wine back in the 70’s and 80’s. But it’s a new dawn and new day for Lambrusco and now, just like your ex, it wants another chance…

Here are a few quick tips on picking the style of Lambrusco for your palate: Lambrusco range from delicate and floral to dry and earthy, so on the label look for “Secco” if you like drier styled wines, and “Semisecco” or “Dolce” if you lean toward from sweetness.


Have you ever popped a fresh un-pitted cherry into you mouth and rolled your tongue around the pit as you ate it to separate the sweet juicy flesh from the pit? That is the perfect description for what the first sip of this wine delivers: you get the fresh red cherry fruitiness and the slightly bittersweet edge of the pit. The cherry notes are followed by strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry notes, with just a splash of floral-ish citrus=y notes. The nose is full of the same ripe red berries that the palate picks up.


This Lambrusco would work beautifully with a juicy beef, turkey, or meatless burgers {I’m looking at you, Impossible burger}. I’d also pair this with a tasted crostini {perfect for entertaining!} topped with roasted red pepper relish, Parm cheese, and grilled shrimp. I’m drooling just thinking about that last pairing suggestion…

Frank Family Vineyards “Rouge” $55.00

Sparkling Reds Frank Family RougeOkay, okay, so this isn’t technically a full sparkling red wine since it’s got a touch of Chardonnay {14%}. But it is red-hued; is made predominately of 2 other red grape varieties {75% Pinot Noir and 11% Petit Sirah}; and it’s damn delicious–so there’s no way I wasn’t going to include it!


Made in the Méthode Champenois style, the vineyard describes the tasting notes as “opens with attractive aromas of lavender, vanilla bean, and black cherry. A silken, creamy mousse is upheld by fresh acidity-pleasing flavors of spiced cranberry and cardamom fill the palate and round out the lengthy finish.”

As lovely as that description is it still doesn’t quite do it full justice! I’d also add that this light-bodied elegant bubbly can easily hold its own against several upper echelon champagnes. In short, this bubbly drinks beautifully.

PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: This would be awesome with fish and seafood, like barbecued crab legs, chargrilled oysters with garlic butter, and white-fleshed fish. Just FYI, I plan to pair my bottle with some fried red snapper and buttermilk marinated onion rings. What can I say, I’m equal parts Southern girl and city chic girl, so that’s just how things can sometimes go down with The Bubbs. {wink}