If you want a wine that'll leave a mark, Shiraz is your choice. Maybe bring a tiny toothbrush, though; enthusiastic Shiraz consumption is likely to leave a few telltale signs for your date to start judging you over. Learn more about this easy drinker and discover some yummy food pairings you'll want to try right away.
Syrah vs Shiraz?
If you've ever gotten Syrah confused with Shiraz, you're certainly not the first person to do so. These two varieties are actually the same type of wine, so Syrah is just another term for Shiraz. Drop that one to sound like you're the fanciest at your next dinner party.
So why does one kind of wine have two different names? When Australians began to grow Syrah grapes, they pronounced them "Shiraz." Because Australians devoted more land to growing these grapes, their wines became more affordable than those from France. Ultimately, Australia won the very-unofficial-but-still-lasting naming rights for this variety.
Where Is Shiraz Produced?
Today, Australian winemakers are still some of the biggest producers of Shiraz, but this red, red wine is made all over the globe. Looking for a traditional bottle? Watch for Syrah produced in France's Côtes du Rhône. How about a hint of the Southern Hemisphere? Nab a Shiraz from Australia's Limestone Coast, South Africa's Stellenbosch region or Chile's Maipo Valley. Want to get a taste of the West Coast? Pick up a bottle from California's Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley, or try one from Washington's Columbia Valley.
How Does Shiraz Taste?
Known as the darkest and most full-bodied wine you can find, Shiraz will never let you down. It starts with the immense flavor of blueberry, plum, chocolate and tobacco. But that's not all; it then tapers into some wild pepperiness. Shiraz has medium acidity and tannins, and most bottles age for five to nine years. This red wine also has a ton of antioxidants, so cheers to your health!
Food Pairings for Shiraz:
Fortune favors the bold, and so does Shiraz. When you're planning a meal to pair with a bottle of Shiraz, don't shy away from something daring. Carnivores would love it with thick steaks, roasted game and smoky barbecue. Stinky blue cheeses and soft, funky ones like Camembert also bring out Shiraz's boldest notes. But the vegans won't be left out, as hearty roasted veggies seasoned with some Herbes de Provence (a traditional spice blend with fennel, thyme and lavender) can be enjoyed to the ful