There’s not much to be happy about when the short days and chilly nights come to Sydney; but there is one thing: Shiraz! Yup, it’s time to bunker down, rug up and pour out those big reds.
Whenever someone asks me if I want a glass of red, I always assume they mean Shiraz. I don’t know why, but I do know it’s my favourite wine. So maybe I do know why after all!
And now it’s finally winter here in Sydney, those big reds with their warming tannins and rich, dark fruits come into their own. And so does Australia.
Some of the best (and biggest) Shiraz in the world is made right here on our doorstep – so it’d be silly not to take advantage of that, wouldn’t it?
Absurdly, Mrs Romance and I didn’t use to like red wine – even the Aussie good stuff. We worked our way through a few ‘transition wines’ like pinot noir before finally becoming well and truly in love with the red monsters from places like the Barossa Valley and Orange.
As far as our favourite Shiraz, it’s very hard to narrow it down to just one. I love the things the good people of St Hallett’s are doing – their Faith, Blackwell and Old Block Shiraz are things of beauty (being week-day, dinner party and special occasion tipples respectively).
Others that have stood out for us are Villa Tinto’s Shiraz from the Barossa, Printhie’s MCC Shiraz from Orange and The Boxer Shiraz by Mollydooker, from McLaren Vale.
But what do we know about Shiraz? How could we dare claim to know anything compared to our heaven-sent experts – the Wine Saints?
The Wine Saints – St Andrew, St Paul and St Peter – are our wine expert friends. Their saintly knowledge has guided us with angelic accuracy to some truly divine wines.
The Wine Saints
St Andrew and St Paul have given two recommendations each: their favourite week-day Shiraz and their aspirational Shiraz. St Peter is currently very busy with he latest addition to his family.
“Of course, aspiring to only one wine is very difficult. If blends count then I’ll take a profoundly indulgent Côté-Rôtie La Mouline, Domaine Étienne Guigal, 2009 or older please. A Robert Parker 100 point wine, rare and obscenely expensive.”
For a single-grape varietal, St Andrew has another wish list bottle: “Always fancied trying Henschke Hill of Grace.
“Weekday steak? Pepperjack Shiraz always satisfies.”
“One of the best around at the moment is the St Henri Shiraz by Penfolds. I think the 2010 is being sold now for around $75 a bottle and it got 100 points and won the Halliday Winery of the Year award 2014.”
St Paul has tried to sneak in another varietal as well – and why not?
“If not a Shiraz how about a Cabernet? I’m a fan of the Lake’s Folly Cabernet from the Hunter Valley… can be hard to get though.”
All this talk of Shiraz has got me thirsty. Looking forward to pour-out time now! Happy Friday from us here at Mr & Mrs Romance!
What will you be drinking this winter? Do you have a favourite Shiraz? Is there a preferred weekday glass-filler you go for? What’s your dream red? Tell us in the comments!