When the weather is hot and sunny, I love to drink a glass or two of sparkling wine in my garden. My favourite is a prosecco from the area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene in my favourite wine region, Veneto in Northern Italy. However, during the last week of June, I attended a wine tasting event at Marks and Spencer and discovered a very nice Australian sparkling wine. The objective of the evening was for M&S to showcase wines from their latest selection and for the tasters to learn more about the region and flavours of each wine and, in addition, each wine was paired with a food suggestion, served by M&S staff, which demonstrated how food can enhance or detract from the original taste of the wine. There were six wines on offer and the one which I enjoyed  the most was a sparkling white wine from Southern Australia called Craft 3. It was produced from a blend of three grape varieties associated with champagne: chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier. The latter two grape varieties are black grapes but the skins and seeds which give red wine its beautiful colour were filtered off after crushing so that only the golden coloured juice remained and this was the colour of Craft 3. As expected, the bubbles were medium sized, unlike the small bubbles of champagne. The difference in the size of the bubbles is due to the different production methods of champagne and Craft 3. The citrusy nose came from the chardonnay grapes and on the palate the wine was dry, fresh and satisfying with subtle flavours of citrus and white fruit. The flavours were subtle and light. It had low to medium acidity which meant that it can be enjoyed without food as an aperitif. However, there was enough acidity for it to stand up to the square of goat’s cheese that Craft 3 was served with. The creaminess of the cheese complimented the wine beautifully, enhancing the length to bring a smooth finish to the combination. At home, I successfully paired Craft 3 with BBQ’s tiger prawns and Scallops in the sunshine. A very nice combination indeed.

I purchased Craft 3 from M&S at Castlepoint, Bournemouth. It cost £10.

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