Australian Wines

It is impossible for anyone to talk about Australian wines without mentioning Shiraz. This is an oftentimes unnoticed red wine variety, overshadowed by some of the more renowned Australian wines such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, Shiraz is fast gaining notoriety and popularity due to its complex, fruity flavor as well as the fact that it is an affordable, great young wine. For wine lovers, Shiraz is truly one of the Australian wines to watch out for.

Identification: Shiraz is sometimes referred to as Syrah—the name of the grape that is used to make it. It is a dark red color, and often served in large glasses at just below room temperatures (about 64 degrees).

History: The e-how article “What Is a Shiraz Wine?” provides some great insight into Shiraz wine and says the following: “The Syrah grape didn’t become prominent until the 20th century, when it was more widely planted in Australia. There, the wine adopted the name Shiraz. Today, it continues its popularity and Syrah grapes are increasingly planted in the United States.”

Geography: Though the Syrah grape originates from the Rhone Valley of France, it is the most commonly grown red wine fruit in Australia and more widely known as an Aussie grape. It is planted in the Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley and McLauren Vale.  In the USA, it is most widely planted in Washington, California and Oregon.

Taste: One of the most robust, heavy red Australian wines, Shiraz varies in flavor depending on the place it was grown as well as the type of barrel it matured in. A traditional Shiraz will have a fruity flavor, with soft tannins, a mid palate and a note of American oak taste. But many wine makers have now started experimenting with various different kinds of oak to create more complex and interesting tastes. These days, you can find Shiraz wines with spicy blackberry, peppery and plum flavors. When produced in warm climates, the wine has hints of chocolate, mocha or licorice. It is an excellent young wine, but grows in complexity as it matures.

Pairing: Due to its robust taste, Shiraz pairs well with hearty foods such as beef. Due to the spicy notes, it also does well with spicy cuisine like Cajun or Mexican. But again, many lovers of Australian wines love to drink Shiraz alone due to its fruity, deep flavor.

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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