Shiraz wine is an often overlooked red wine, overshadowed by more popular varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, but Shiraz wine is gaining popularity and notoriety because of its fruity, complex flavor and the fact that it is a great, affordable young wine.
The Shiraz grape is widely grown in Australia and has become popular in South Africa. Types of Shiraz wine are determined by growing region, where the uniqueness of soil and climate contribute to the distinct character of the finished wine.
Identification * Shiraz wine is also sometimes labeled as Syrah, named after the grape from which it is made. It is a deep red color, and is usually served in a large wine glass at just under room temperature--around 64 degrees.
Taste * The Shiraz is a robust, heavy red wine. It tends to vary in taste depending on where it was grown and what kind of barrel it was aged in. A traditional Shiraz is fruity, with a mid palate, soft tannins and a hint of American oak flavor. However, winemakers are now experimenting with all different types of oak to produce more complex, interesting flavors.
Shiraz wines have spicy blackberry, plum and peppery flavors. When grown in warmer climates, it sometimes has notes of licorice, chocolate or mocha. It is a great young wine, but as it ages, it grows in complexity.
Pairing Because of their robust flavor, Shiraz wines do well with hearty foods like beef. Because of the spicy notes, they are also great choices for spicy foods, like Mexican or Cajun. Then again, many wine lovers like to drink a Shiraz alone because of its deep, fruity flavor.
How to Serve Shiraz?
Prepare the bottle of shiraz in advance. Allow it to sit in an appropriate environment, sealed, until the liquid reaches a temperature between 60 and 65 degrees. This is the warmest that a wine should be served and the optimal temperature for shiraz, bringing out its best flavors.
Select the proper glasses. Each type of wine is best served in a particularly shaped glass. Serve shiraz in a 22 7/8-ounce glass, 9 3/4 inches high.
Allow your shiraz to breathe. Open the bottle and leave it open for up to one hour, depending on the strength of the wine. This allows the tannins to be released, revealing the wine's true tastes. It can breathe for less time in the glass. Open the bottle during temperature adjustment or pour it into the glass before you plan to enjoy it.
Pinot Noir Wines
Pinot Noir may be the toughest grape to grow, but the effort is often well worth the constant care and investment. It is a fickle grape that demands optimum growing conditions, opting for warm days consistently supported by cool evenings. As for style, Pinot Noir is typically a lighter-medium bodied, fruit-forward red wine.