Skip to main content

Friday Night Wine Down : Shiraz/Syrah

Featured wine: Shiraz/Syrah

Wikipedia description:
Syrah is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines. Syrahs enjoy great popularity in the marketplace, relatively often under the name Shiraz.

Syrah is used as a varietal and blended into other wines. Following several years of strong planting, Syrah was estimated in 2004 to be the world's 7th most grown grape at 142,600 hectares (352,000 acres).

DNA profiling in 1999 found Syrah to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. It should not be confused with Petite Sirah, a synonym for Durif, a cross of Syrah with Peloursin dating from 1880.

I've tasted:
Indaba (South Africa, Western Cape) $7.95
Yellow Tail (Australia) $6.99
Yellow Tail Shiraz-Cabernet Blend (Australia) $6.99
Black Opal (Australia) $14.99

Food pairings:
barbecue
cheese (aged and/or hard)
chili
duck
grilled meat or vegetables
hamburgers
lamb
steak
grilled tuna
venison

Notes:
Nobody really knows why this particular grape goes by two names. It's commonly called Shiraz in Australia and South Africa, but is generally known by its 'old-world' name Syrah in the rest of the world. Either way you spell it, this wine is a nice accompaniment to grilled or barbecued meats and vegetables. Lovely with burgers or a steak, it's the perfect thing to grab and go when you're invited to an impromptu backyard gathering - no chilling required.

Cheers!
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

cookin' up a storm!

Nothing like plummeting temperatures, bleak skies, and snow flurries to get me in the mood to whip up some comfort food!  On this particular night, I was inspired by a tuna casserole recipe that one of my friends posted on 'that other social network'.  I adapted the ingredients a bit to accommodate my dietary restrictions, but you can feel free to use the full-fat, full-sodium versions of any of the ingredients.  I didn't measure anything, (I rarely do) so you'll just have to wing it on that front.  Here's what went into the dish:

2 cans tuna fish, drained
1/2 package whole wheat pasta spirals
3 egg whites, beaten
2 tablespoons of Smart Balance spread
grated pepper-jack cheese
diced tomatoes
fresh chopped parsley
chopped onion
fresh ground black peppersalt, to taste (I didn't use any)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain.  Mix in all the other ingredients except for the eggs, and a couple handfuls of the cheese.  When the mixture has cooled sl…

dinner : portuguese-ish fish stew

Our usual M.O. for dinner preparations is to decide on the food first, and then pick a wine to match.  But once in a while, we like to mix things up and go the other way.  Vinho Verde is one of my very favorite wines, and we buy it quite frequently, but we often drink it with whatever food we're having - because it goes with so many things.  As a result, we sometimes miss out on its full potential as a food wine.
But tonight I decided to bring the food to the wine and prepare a hearty Portuguese-style fish stew.  I'm careful to say style because people get all huffy when you suggest that your particular version of an ethnic dish hovers in the vicinity of what is truly authentic, whatever that is.  That said, here's my recipe.  I don't like to specify measurements because I rarely measure, so let your taste and judgement guide you.
Sautee some minced garlic, diced red onion and diced fennel in olive oil. Add some fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, diced chorizo, bite-size…

dinner : pumpkin kale soup

I guess Mother Nature wasn't content to abuse us with mere chilly winds, so she is now dousing the city with relentless rain as well.   Time for more soup!
This one I kind of made up on the fly, using most of the ingredients I'd planned to put into tonight's dinner omelette.  It came together pretty quickly, even with aching, half-frozen hands:
I toasted a couple handfuls of pepitas in a heavy pot over medium high heat, then set them aside to cool.  To the same pot, I then added the following:

Olive oil diced onion diced pumpkin diced carrot chopped kale canned black beans, rinsed and drained diced chorizo chicken stock/water in equal amounts salt to taste
I would have added garlic and celery as well, but I was chilled to the bone and desperately needed a hot shower.  Near-hypothermia is a valid reason for cutting the cooking process short.
While the soup bubbled away for about 20 minutes, I grated a few ounces of cheddar (and took a hot shower, of course). 


I served up th…