Lifestyle/ Wine

Wine 101: Meet Shiraz

Wine 101: Meet Shiraz

At KWV, their aim is to demystify wine. For them, there’s no right or wrong way to taste wine – it simply comes down to whether you enjoy and like what you are drinking.  KWV wants to help you to get to know your wines, without any intimidation, so that you can enjoy your wine your way.

They want to provide you with just enough information so that you have a working knowledge of the different type of wine varietals – enough to buy your first serious bottle, and perhaps impress your date with a thing or two.

Meet Shiraz – Shiraz, or Syrah as it is known in Europe and the USA, is a bold, tasty red wine. It is also one of the darkest red wines –  so much so that if you hold a glass up to the light, you would perhaps struggle to see through it. It is one of the most widely planted grapevines in the world, and is successfully grown in almost every wine producing country.

“Shiraz is like a wild teenager that requires good discipline, and as a result we tend to plant it on more difficult or poor soils and restrict food and water to keep it on track,” says Marco Ventrella, KWV Viticulturist.

Origin

The grape originates from Rhone in France with two little known grapes as the parents; Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. The Shiraz grapes arrived in South Africa in the second half of the 17th century. Today, many see it as Cape Town’s most exciting red grape, and its popularity means that there is even a dedicated awards ceremony – the South African Shiraz awards.

Taste

It is a wine that is fruity, and peppery and is high in tannin – a structural element that helps frame a wine (if you have had black tea, you have tasted tannin). A great bonus is that due to the high level of these tannins, Shiraz has one of the highest levels of health-benefiting antioxidants.

“Shiraz is spicy but also very generous with dark and red fruits, and juicy as a wine” says Ventrella.

It is known to be a full- bodied wine, which means that it feels heavy in the mouth. Take a sip, and you will enjoy flavours of dark fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, and rich soft fruits. Other notes include liquorice, tobacco, herbs and chocolate.

Food pairing

Due to its full flavour and its high acidity, Shiraz is the perfect wine to pair with food – it’s destined for meats such as lamb and venison – but will also pair well with pork, or even duck with strongly flavoured sauces, providing that the sauce is not too sweet. If you prefer red over white, then shiraz will also work as an accompaniment for fish such as salmon.  Here’s an easy recipe to enjoy with a glass or two of KWV Classic Shiraz.

“At KWV we source our grapes from the most sought-after regions in the winelands, and because of this, our shiraz wine has been consistently praised.  Everything is treated like a boutique winery with great attention to details.  We, the wine team, are after all, our own customers,” concludes Ventrella.  For information on KWV wines have a look at their online shop.

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