James Hird, co-founder of Rootstock Sydney, shares his top five natural sparkling wines so you can make a splash on the Christmas table this year.
Gatti Bolle Bandite
Prosecco doesn’t have to be neutral, bland or run-of-the-mill. This lively little number is everything you want a lighter-style sparkling to be - refreshing and vibrant. Buy two... the bottles seem to have holes in them.
Jousset Exile Rose
One of my favourite Loire Valley producers, and talk of the town at last year's Rootstock Sydney. Evidence that great farmers make great wines. Juicy and elegant rarely sit side-by-side but this is the exception. Drink it while you can - not a lot comes into the country so it's worth seeking out.
Friends of Punch - Rurale
This white blend from the Yarra Valley more than scratches the itch. A great value, fun sparkling that has the drinkability of a dry cider and banging acidity. Refreshment set to maximum.
This is such a beautiful wine. A precise and pure chardonnay blend that flirts with complexity but remains highly drinkable on a hot day. I've got a six-pack of this set aside to drink with Boxing Day leftovers. Great wine and family... feels good already.
Latta Vino Essential Crisis Pet Nat
This edgy little number is sure to shake up your Holiday season. Sauvignon Blanc but in a cider safari suit. Lots of green apple and lees. A fun wine that's as refreshing as it is delicious. Owen Latta is one of the country's most exciting young winemakers - this is him having some fun.
James Hird is the Group Wine Director at Sydney's the Dolphin Hotel, Hotel Harry, Icebergs Dining Room + Bar, and Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta. He's also a co-founder of Sydney's funkiest natural wine festival, Rootstock.