Last month the team at Wine Selectors sent over their ‘Australian Shiraz Showcase’ for me to taste. This case is made up of Shiraz’s from Australia’s First Families of Wine and I thought it would be a bit of fun to find 12 food matches for the wines as I made my way through the case. Naturally I did a bit of research into what typical flavours and foods matched Shiraz to guide me, however, let’s just say, I also ‘coloured outside the lines’ a bit.
Before we delve in, I recently came across this Shiraz grape profile in the Wine Selectors ‘Wine-Lovers Grape Guide’ which I thought was pretty cool:
Below you’ll find 12 food matches for Shiraz and also my tasting notes for each of the wines. My particular favourites which I will definitely be having again are #1, #7 and #8 for sure!
1. Shiraz & Bacon
Initially when I went to the supermarket to find the first match, I was looking for hard smoked cheese as I heard smokey cheese was a good match. What I found was some slightly smoked soft cheese and also some of the Zoosh ‘Bomb Diggity’ Bacon Dip. It was the latter that had my palate in a frenzy with the wine. The smokiness and the bacon/onion flavours in the dip really complimented the wine. Who was I kidding, bacon goes with everything right? (psst.. if you love bacon, then check out my wine and bacon matching guide)
Taylors 2015 Shiraz, Clare Valley (SA)
It’s a brilliant deep garnet shade on the eye. The nose is full of leather, spice, black olives and plums. While on the palate that plumminess is joined by cherry infused acidity with a sprinkling of nutmeg and a silky mouthfeel. Give me a bottle of this, a tub of Bacon dip and that’s my Friday night sorted.
2. Shiraz & Meatballs
To be honest, this is just a fancy version of spaghetti Bolognese which I believe would also go well with an Aussie Shiraz. I was eager to try the below pictured Meatball, Tomato & Basil Ragu from the Dish magazine as I loved the idea of squeezing out sausages to create meatballs. We decided to use chorizo sausages for a bit of a kick and it turned out delish – highly recommended. Some of the wine went into the dish and the rest was consumed while cooking and with the meal. A highly enjoyable night!
De Bortoli Villages 2015 Shiraz + Grenache Blend, Heathcote (VIC)
This red blend is a plummy red on the eye. Notes of black olives, cherries, raspberries and violets come through on the nose. In the mouth it’s juicy with a good oomph of flavour and decent length finish. Wine & food matching bliss!
3. Shiraz & Pork Tacos
Pork is a great meat to match with Shiraz full-stop. These tacos were infused with smoked paprika, cumin and BBQ sauce and I’ve now had them on two occasions with a bottle of Shiraz and they compliment the vino wonderfully. As you’ll see in my hotdog experience below, BBQ sauce and Shiraz have a real affinity for one another.
Tahbilk 2014 Shiraz, Nagambie Lakes (VIC)
It’s a deep ruby-red colour in the glass with notes of cassis, violets and black pepper on the nose. That cracked black pepper flows through to the palate with plentiful notes of berries, plums and cherries. The finish is long and tannin infused. Very enjoyable.
4. Shiraz & Pork Shoulder
Mr. Spittoon has a real knack for cooking awesome pork shoulders. He picked up one and put it in the slow cooker with some fennel and other ingredients. We also added some veggies and rosemary roasted pumpkin to the plate. I found the fennel and rosemary really worked well with the Shiraz, alongside the pork of course.
Yalumba 2014 Triangle Block Shiraz, Eden Valley (SA)
It’s a blackish ruby-red colour in the glass with quite a savoury nose to it. Think leather, spice, bark and stewed plums. It’s full of juicy cherry flavour in the mouth, with plenty of fresh acidity and silky tannins. The finish on this Shiraz seems to go on forever!
5. Shiraz & Burgers (and BYO)
Naturally, Shiraz goes well with burger night whether it’s beef, lamb, pork or even a mushroom or capsicum patty. We headed out to a local BYO burger spot and my beef, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, caramelised red onion and ketchup burger went superbly with this bottle of Shiraz. As this Shiraz is blended with a bit of Cabernet (notorious for matching well with beef) – we really thought we couldn’t go wrong. We were right.
The Barry Bros by Jim Barry 2015 Shiraz Cabernet, Clare Valley (SA)
On the eye, the wine is a deep ruby-red with a tinge of purple. It has a warmth on the nose with a distinct savoury/earthy character to it alongside dark fruits. In the mouth, it has super smooth flavours with a lovely juicy finish. The burgers were truly complimented by this vino!
6. Shiraz & Ribs
Of course, we had to do the ribs & Shiraz match! We had some pork ribs smothered with a BBQ sauce which, despite the mess, went down superbly with the Shiraz. Our Riedel glasses were a bit messy with finger prints on by the end, but it was all worth it!
McWilliam’s Reserve 2015 McW 660 Shiraz, Hilltops (NSW)
In the glass, it’s virtually opaque in colour with a black-garnet tinge. The nose is enticingly jammy and oaky with a certain warmth to it and a hint of marmite. And on the palate, these 4 words were the first to come to mind: juicy, plump, long finish. It’s a heavier style Shiraz that deserves to be teamed up with meaty, BBQ flavours.
7. Shiraz & Chocolate
You may have seen a few posts back I took Cuvee Chocolate by Deniz Karaca (chocolate made specifically to match wine) for a test run and I was amazed at how well it matched my favourite tipple! Therefore I could not do a wine & food matching post without including this. We teamed the ‘Noir’ 85% Dark Chocolate by Cuvee Chocolate up with the below wine and I kid you not, it was like a black forest dessert when combined. Oh my god. Heaven!
Henschke Henry’s Seven 2015 Shiraz Blend, Barossa Valley (SA)
It’s a Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro & Viognier blend. On the eye the wine is a lovely deep yet bright red with notes of cherry cigars, hints of mocha and some leafy/earthiness to it on the nose. In the mouth it’s juicy…. decadent… and covers every taste bud in your mouth with flavour. The fruit forward cherry flavour is absolutely perfect with the dark chocolate making it like a Black Forest dessert in your mouth, but better! I need these two in my life again.
8. Shiraz & Curry
Oh my god, I definitely wasn’t a believer until I tried this utterly delectable match. I really felt like curry, but typically my go-to vino to match is an off-dry white or if going red, a Pinot Noir. However, I decided to buy one of The Spice Tailor’s meal kits for a Southern Pepper Curry (thinking the pepper will compliment the wine) made with lamb and my oh my, it was divine! I will definitely be enjoying this match again soon. Quick tip: If matching curry with Shiraz, try to find a lightly oaked Shiraz.
Tyrrell’s Wines 2015 Shiraz, Hunter Valley (NSW)
It’s matured in large old oak barrels so the fruit is highlighted and I think it’s this not overly oaked style of Shiraz that worked so well with the curry.
It’s a pretty ruby-red shade on the eye. Notes of black pepper, raspberry liquorice, blueberries and a hint of vegetal (Brussel sprouts according to Mr Spittoon) came through on the nose. In the mouth, it’s super smooth and easy drinking with wonderful fruit acidity and light tannins. A definite winner on the palate while cooking and eating curry!
9. Shiraz & Hotdogs (+ BBQ sauce)
I do love hotdog night! In our house it’s ‘make your own’ night, however, the typical ingredients include; sauces, cheese, beetroot, pineapple, onion, jalapeno, pickles and more! We opted for pork sausages, knowing how well pork goes with Shiraz, but I think the real highlight was how well the Shiraz went with the BBQ sauce – yumo!
d’Arenberg ‘The Love Grass’2014 Shiraz, McLaren Vale (SA)
“Lovegrass is a weed that grows in the vineyards and its sticky flowers affectionately attach themselves to vineyard workers socks” and that’s how this Shiraz got its name. Interesting this wine is also ‘foot trod & basket pressed’ according to the back label. Deep shiny garnet colour on the eye. On the nose I picked up notes of spice, smoked meat, berries, red liquorice and some oak. In the mouth it’s full of dark black fruits and lingering tannins. It really does linger the same way the Lovegrass flowers do.
10. Shiraz & Jerky
Does a dinner get any better than one made up of Shiraz and jerky? I think not! I had heard kangaroo meat goes well with Shiraz, and I hadn’t tried kangaroo jerky, so I thought this Western Australian made jerky by Chewy Mooey would go perfectly with this WA-made Shiraz. I was right.
Howard Park ‘Flint Rock’ 2014 Shiraz, Great Southern (WA)
This particular Shiraz is a deep, dark garnet-plum colour in the glass. On the nose it’s elegant with a fresh coolness to it and juicy fresh cherries laced with vanilla. Those cherries come through on the palate backed by a lovely clean structure, silky tannins, hints of blackcurrants and a peppered finish. A super elegant cool-climate Shiraz. Now I am not being biased, but I think this was probably one of my favourite tipples from the case.
11. Shiraz & Pizza
Pizza is most definitely one of my favourite meals. I especially love homemade pizza or authentic Italian style-pizza. I decided to make some homemade pizza one night – a lamb, red onion, olive, feta, rocket and Greek yoghurt one and a roast pumpkin, rosemary, feta and rocket one – diiivine! Both matched the vino superbly.
Brown Brothers 18 Eighty Nine 2015 Shiraz, Heathcote (VIC)
A medium red colour on the eye with bramble fruits and savoury spice on the nose. It really evoked thoughts of venison with a berry type sauce for me. In the mouth its full of raspberry and blackberries with a hint of smokiness and oak. A nice full-bodied Shiraz with a very tenacious finish.
12. Shiraz & Chocolate Orange
I recently picked up a jar of jar VinoFood’s Mandarin, Chilli & Shiraz Chocolate Sauce from Just In Time Gourmet as I’d heard so many good things about it. Knowing already how great chocolate is with Shiraz, I figured this sauce would be a match made in heaven since it was already infused with Shiraz. The sauce made me think of chocolate orange – it was divine and between you and me, a jar of this, a spoon and a glass of Shiraz made me one happy lady!
Campbell’s ‘Bobbie Burns’ 2015 Shiraz, Rutherglen (VIC)
This Aussie Shiraz is a deep ruby-red with scents of black fruits, liquorice and a lick of oak on the nose. The palate is full of elegance, wonderfully juicy blackberry fruit and earthy/savoury tannins on the finish. A superb match to the chocolate-orange inspired sauce!
What an amazing 12 days! I can’t wait to revisit some of these matches soon! And as always, please note any comments I make on a wine are my own opinion. Wine is subjective and always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy!
Do you have a favourite Shiraz food pairing? If so let us now below…