The archetypal Australian shiraz, grown on old vines in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, offers up flavours of dark fruit (think over-ripe plum and red berries), chocolate, spice, tobacco, cured meats, cloves and liquorice. The finish will be okay, as this wine tends to spend more time in the barrel than most.
Is shiraz sweet or dry?
Shiraz, like almost all Australian reds, has zero residual sugar added to it. This makes it a dry wine. But that’s not to say it lacks sweetness; with red berry flavours hitting the palate hard, sweet-tooths will enjoy their fair share of fruitiness. This shouldn’t be mistaken for the more direct sweetness of a red wine like port though, as it comes naturally from the grape rather than from added sugar.
What’s the difference between shiraz and syrah?
Keen-eyed wine fans may have noted that Australia seems to be one of the only countries that produces shiraz, and they’d be right. Sort of. What we call shiraz, most of the world calls syrah – they’re the exact same grape, but by the mid-1800s, either through bad spelling or bad pronunciation, we Aussies had managed to mangle the original French term into shiraz, which you’ve got to admit is far more Australian sounding.
So the only real difference between shiraz and syrah is where they come from. Australia and a few other New World wine regions use the term shiraz, while the rest, including all Old World regions, use syrah.
Is shiraz the heaviest red wine?
Shiraz is considered by most to be the fullest-bodied Australian wine. While others like Sagrantino and Petite Sirah are arguably fuller-bodied than shiraz, they aren’t widely grown or sold here. The older the vines on which shiraz is grown the fuller-bodied the wine will generally be, so the shirazes of the Barossa, some from vines over a century old, are up there with the fullest and most intense in the world.
What food pairs best with shiraz wine?
When it comes to food pairings, the robust and intense nature of shiraz wines makes them well-suited for pairing with bold and flavourful dishes, in particular grilled, barbecued or roasted red meats such as beef, lamb and game. The richness of the meats are complemented with the complex flavours of the shiraz, while spicy foods such as those in Mexican, Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine blend well with shiraz's peppery notes and robust character.
Outside the main course, the depth and bite of aged cheeses like cheddar, gouda and parmesan also pair well with a quality shiraz. For those with a sweet tooth, dark chocolate is another morsel whose bitter and rich nature nicely balances the wine's fruitiness and tannins. By no means an exhaustive list, personal preference will also ensure other fantastic pairings not mentioned here.