One of the most overlooked types of red wine, the “Shiraz” possesses many qualities that make it Australia’s flagship wine variety. For one, the “Shiraz” is considered a big, bold red wine with a flavor profile consisting of blackberry, plum, chocolate and spice. When you get a whiff of this wine, you’ll primarily get fruit and spice. At the top of the glass, you’ll be able to smell every conceivable kind of spice – black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, but at the bottom of the glass, you’ll get blueberry, cranberry and clove. In the middle of the glass, however, you’ll get strangely enough, orange peel even though citrus flavors are not usually associated with reds.
Another thing that makes the “Shiraz” quite unlike your usual red is the fact that when you swirl the wine and hold your nose about an inch from the rim of the glass, you’ll smell tar. It’s not going to taste like tar in any way but it is what will give it away as a “Shiraz.” This unusual red also comes in a wide-range of styles, from the classic, full-bodied, dark and leathery Barossa Valley to the peppery versions from Victoria and the light-bodied versions from the western regions like the Margaret River.
As with its equally renowned red counterparts, serving and drinking the “Shiraz” are by themselves considered an art form and thus, should be learned to a point where they become a skill. It needs to sit and be sealed in an appropriate environment until it reaches a temperature of 60-65 degrees which is the optimum temperature for a Shiraz’s flavors to be brought out and ultimately enjoyed. Even the glass in which it should be drunk has certain specifications – it must be a Bordeaux-style glass weighing 22 7/8 ounces, with a height of 9 ¾ inches. These types of glasses are the best because in addition to holding a larger quantity of the wine, it directs the wine towards the back of the mouth. It is also one of those wines best drunk young, preferably within the first five years after bottling.
When drinking the “Shiraz”, you need to smell the wine first before sipping it slowly. Before drinking it though, remember to leave the bottle open for at least an hour, depending on the strength of the wine. This is to allow the tannins to be released, so that the wine’s true flavors will come out. The “Shiraz” is also known for its ability to keep well, able to be stored for up to 10 years. The flavors deepen the longer it is stored, becoming earthier and richer to the taste.”
Care to try some Shiraz? Find Shiraz wine online and see for yourself just what it is about this Aussie red that makes people come back for more.
Author’s Bio: Stephen John is a food and wine enthusiast. He blogs about food, wine, and culture and writes wine reviews for a living. Find shiraz wine online by visiting his site at Winemarket.com.au.