If you haven’t had sparkling Shiraz yet, you’re missing out. I just had my first taste in July at a Rye mix-off competition, second yesterday with Mr. Hardy himself and might just swing by the Jug Shop tonight to pick up a bottle.

Most people tout sparkling reds as a fantastic match for Thanksgiving turkey (or Christmas pheasant on the beach with the Hardy family), but since the holidays aren’t for a few more months, I was thinking this bubbly would be great for an Indian-summer BBQ. Watch out though; sparkling Shiraz is much richer and has a higher alcohol content than its white counterparts.

While sparkling Shiraz is still scarce in the U.S., it’s starting to gain traction. In SF, you can find it on the wine list at Andalu, but that’s about it for now. And after doing a bit of research, I discovered that Geyser Peak in the Alexander Valley makes a highly regarded version of a red bubbly using grapes grown in Sonoma.

Not like I need one more reason to take a trip Down Under, but if I did, sparkling Shiraz would be it.