September's Wine of the Month - Dalliance

September's Wine of the Month - Dalliance

Dalliance - “a casual romantic relationship or a period of brief involvement with something.” The perfect word to describe our sparkling. Flirty, but with substance. Like a fling that takes your breath away and leaves you wistfully reminiscing. Hungerford Hill’s Dalliance Sparkling is your partner in crime for all the spring festivities that await.

Sparkling wine and Champagne has long been synonymous with celebration. Its luxurious reputation often means an association with the good things in life. It exuberantly bursts out of the bottle and overflows with joy, making it the perfect accompaniment to the meaningful events in your life. We think it’s important to make as many of life’s moments a celebration as you can. That way there is always a reason to have a bottle of Dalliance on hand!

So, how does Dalliance Sparkling wine transform into the sounds of celebration? Why, bubbles of course! Methode Champenois to be precise. The Champagne region of France is the birthplace of bubbly wine and the techniques they employ are still in use all around the world today. You start by making a still ‘base’ wine out of grapes. Traditionally Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Munier are used (like in our Dalliance) although other regions make sparkling wine from different varieties. 

The grapes for sparkling need to be picked a little earlier than you normally would when making a still wine. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, you want the grapes to have a nice, crisp acidity. This helps to highlight the delicate aromatics and flavours in sparkling wine. Finally, you want to control the amount of sugar that builds in the grapes as they ripen. That way, you have a base wine with low sugar to start the bubbly process. After the base wine has been fermented, the result will be a tart wine with low alcohol. Then it's put into a bottle for ‘tirage’, a process where yeast and sugar are added to the base wine to kick off secondary fermentation. A crown seal on the bottle stops all the fermentation gas from escaping - hence, bubbles!

So why is Dalliance so delicious? A big part of it is the Tumbarumba wine region. This beautiful region is tucked away at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains and is prime sparkling wine country. The elevation is high, the summer nights are cool and the average rainfall is high. All this combines to create fruit with finesse and expression, perfect for sparkling wine. Extended time on ‘lees’ (as part of the Methode Champenois process), means the wine has a character often described as ‘biscuity’. Almond biscotti is probably the closest way to describe it! Combine that rich aroma with the fresh burst of pure fruit flavours and finish with a very fine and creamy bead. Then you have a wine worth celebrating with!

So what should you pair your Dalliance with? A dalliance in its own right - Sparkling wine and oysters! These two have long been in cahoots. The burst of fresh, foamy sea combines with the bright fruits in our Dalliance perfectly. Another great pairing is a soft, creamy cheese that contrasts nicely with the acidity in the bubbles. Think Chevre or even Persian Fetta. 

Just like its name suggests, the Dalliance sparkling is best enjoyed with company. Cheers.