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WINE OF THE WEEK: Dowie Doole Moxie Sparkling Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia

£20.16, Armit Wines

Moxie Sparkling Shiraz

A frothing, deep red, sparkling wine with vibrant black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, Christmas spice and dark chocolate flavours, and sweetness tempered by freshness and gentle tannin. No, there’s nothing quite like Australian Sparkling Shiraz. It maybe a bit of a Marmite wine, but those who love it love it for its exuberance and versatility – and it's certainly something different to serenade the troops at Christmas. Moxie gets its particular richness and character from the way it’s aged and blended: the pre-sparkling base wine was Shiraz from vintages 1996 to 2012 kept in a solera system (like sherry) and then blended with Shiraz from the 2015 harvest to invigorate and plump it up. It needs to be chilled, but doesn’t have to be quite as cold as most white and rosé fizz, and it can be served as an aperitif or a party wine, or can be drunk with food: roast duck or goose, slow cooked, spiced belly of pork, rich paté with chutney, hard cheese or dark chocolate puddings and truffles. There aren't many wines that sail through from the aperitif to cheese and dessert.

Dowie Doole Moxie Sparkling Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

£17.99, Twelve Green Bottles; £18.99, Hard to Find Wines; £19.99, The Dorset Wine Company; £21, Shaftsbury Wines

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