Featured wine: Shiraz/Syrah
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.
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
cheese (aged and/or hard)
grilled meat or vegetables
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.