A Sparkling New World
Why you should list sparkling wine from the southern hemisphere
Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mothers' Day or 'just because' - there's always a good excuse to pop the cork on something sparkling! But with increasing prices for Champagne and Prosecco, why not look to the New World producers of the southern hemisphere for great quality bubblies?
Brazil's best-known wines are arguably its sparkling whites. Situated in Campanha, Miolo creates wines with Old World character and their own uniquely Brazilian twist.
Sam Cortez, wine manager of STK London, made the decision to stock something different. “We decided to list Miolo sparkling wine because of the very good quality and low price. Brazilian wines increased in quality over the last couple of years, offering a very affordable price range, along with a wide selection of grape varieties and wines."
Tamas Toth, sommelier at STK, explains, "Miolo is a popular choice and highly requested by our guests because of the high quality, very refined bubbles and rounded flavours. We recommend it with our seared scallops with parsnip and vanilla puree, or caviar with cauliflower puree, white chocolate and smoked eel.”
Chile produces fruity, lighter bubblies following the charmat method, as well as more structured and richer styles in the traditional method. Based in the Lontue Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroir is shown by the single vineyard wines.
Jose Modonese of the South American steakhouse, Comedor Bar & Grill, explains that South American sparkling wine has a lot of potential in the market. “We only stock South American wines and the bubbles provide such value for money when compared to Champagne or even Prosecco. Diners in London are always keen to try something different according to your recommendation, making this sparkling wine easier to approach.” Jose recommends serving the Valdivieso Brut with seared tuna.
Situated in South Africa’s Robertson region, Graham Beck is considered the finest producer of traditional Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) in the country. Danny Robertson, bar manager at The Grill on the Corner in Glasgow, explains that the Graham Beck Brut Rosé is their standard serve for rosé sparkling by the glass, while they also sell it by the bottle.
“We made the switch to Graham Beck mainly due to an ability to lower the price point, without comprimising on quality and as such provide better value. Stocking a New World sparkling also affords a wine list a certain degree of versatility. This Brut Rosé is perfect with a richer fish dish, like our sea trout served with béarnaise sauce and asparagus,” Danny says.
A unique point of difference
There can be a lack of awareness when it comes to sparkling wine from the southern hemisphere, so staff training is key. These wines offer great quality, superb value and compelling producer stories, which staff can use to bring the category to life and introduce customers to something new.