Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ben's Bubbly: d'Arenberg The Peppermint Paddock Sparkling Chambourcin

This week Ben met some of his future friends. Three of my wife's co-workers had babies within five months of Ben's arrival and this weekend was the first time all of the little ones "met" each other. We had planned on going to a park and lining the future class of 2029 up on a blanket, but the rain and cold weather forced us to meet at a McDonald's PlayPlace so that a big sister could be entertained. The infant crew includes a 6-month old, a 4-month old, a 2-month old and our 6-week old. It was amazing to see the differences that only a few months can make! And as much as Ben has grown these past few weeks, the changes are only going to more noticeable. Before we know it, he is going to be running laps around us and then take the car for a spin. :( Until then, we are still going to be enjoying our weekly bubbly.

d'Arenberg, The Peppermint Paddock, Sparkling Chambourcin, McLaren Vale

This is a not-so-typical sparkling wine from a not-so-typical grape. Chambourcin is a French-American hybrid known for lacking the unpleasant hybrid flavors. I never thought that a French-American hybrid would be found in Australia, but I can see why now. This deep dark purple bubbly coats the glass as you swirl. It might surprise people by being dry, fruity and losing its fizz after a short time in the glass. It smells like a bowl full of freshly picked red and blue fruit that hasn't been washed. This little bit of woodsiness adds some complexity, but this wine is mostly about fruit. After sipping on it for a while, it felt like I was munching on mocha dusted Bing cherries. This is a fun and good wine, but a bit pricey for the novelty. 13.5% abv Purchased $32. Good (tasted 5/12/11)


  1. Moved back to US a year ago from South Australia. This style of sparkling red is a great way to enjoy a full of flavor red in the heat of summer. Anybody know a US distributor where I can order a case of this?

    Steve K

  2. Steven - that depends on the state you live in. Ask your local retailer who imports and distributes d'arenberg and you should be able to get your case.