Australian Shiraz is one of the best-known red wine varieties worldwide. The medium to full-bodied wines are characterised by notes of dark berries, pepper and spice.
Straight or blended? Which type for which occasion? Read on to find out more.
HISTORY & FACTS
- With vineyards dating back to 1843, Australia has the world’s oldest Shiraz vines still in production.
- It is Australia’s best known and most widely planted variety, grown in virtually every wine region.
- Shiraz thrives in moderate to warm climate areas.
- French oak use is common for maturation although some fresh, early-drinking styles see no oak at all.
Which type for which occasion? A versatile little grape, combine it with meat BBQs, charcuterie and cheese platters or hearty pastas, like a Bolognese.
CRFT Little Hill Shiraz displays layers of dark fruits with dried figs and prunes and a nice kick of spice. It will pair particularly well with lamb or stews.
For your weeknight pizza or as a complement to richer meals like a beef wellington, try the Handcrafted by Geoff Hardy Shiraz.
Looking for the Queen of Shiraz? Hentley Farm’s The Beauty is complex, soft and elegant. Co-fermented with Viognier, this is your ultimate wine for a special occasion. James Halliday gave it 96 points.
In France, it’s country of origin, Syrah is widely used in varietals from the Rhône or Languedoc-Roussillon areas and frequently blended with Grenache.
This is also a successful combination in Australian blends, Shiraz providing the structure and spice and Grenache the juicy palate. To create more depth, Mataro (or Mourvèdre) is added to form a fabulous GSM blend, such as the crowd-favourite Turkey Flat’s Butchers Block Red.
And for a Bordeaux Blend with a twist (Shiraz is typically not added), try Paracombe’s The Reuben. A fantastic food wine and a blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – with a touch of Malbec and Shiraz.