One bottle that stood out amongst the rest at the New York Wine and Food Festival was the 2009 Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz. It was unlike anything else I've sipped before. It's a sweet red wine that's very different from a Port. It's not syrupy or thick, but smooth, full-bodied, and very fruity. The knowledgeable gentleman at the Drink South African table (the grapes are grown in South Africa's Paarl region) informed me that Jam Jar is best served slightly chilled. I couldn't agree more, the cold red was refreshing and perfectly balanced with neither too much sweetness or acidity. Jam Jar pairs wonderfully with dark chocolate, so if you are a fan of red wine and chocolate, I highly recommend this lovely Shiraz!
If you're a red wine drinker, chances are, at some point you've come across Syrah, Shiraz, or both. Have you, like me, ever wondered what the exact difference is between the two? Syrah and Shiraz are different names for the same varietal, which comes from a dark-skinned red grape that grows well in warm climates worldwide. The way the grape is spelled tends to be an indicator of the wine's origin.
To learn where Syrah and Shiraz originate and the difference between the two, keep reading.
When I saw this recipe in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living, I went a little crazy. With it's vibrant hue, fizzy texture, and glamorous ingredients, I knew it was the perfect crowd-pleasing cocktail for the holidays. Last weekend at an intimate house party, I finally had the chance to make it.
This delicious concoction is everything I thought it would be and more. It's not too potent and subtly sweet. The mint garnish is a pretty, festive finish — don't skip this step, my guests were really impressed! Start looking for the sparkling Shiraz a couple of days before you plan on making it.
Although they sell it at Bevmo, my local store was out and I ended up spending my Saturday afternoon on a frantic sparkling Shiraz hunt. The search was well worth it, though, because this concoction is one of my new favorites. To serve the punch at your holiday party, read more
One of the wines I tried while at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, was Australian based Molly Dooker. The name, which is Aussie for Left Hander, is much like the wine — it's fun, and doesn't take itself too seriously.
I ended up trying their 2006 Shiraz, The Boxer, and was rather impressed. The flavor — blackcurrants mixed with chocolate undertones and a bit of spice — seems like it would cost more than $20 a bottle.
There was definitely a good bite and it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, however it's worth the purchase — which I know you're going to do based on their cute labels alone. If nothing else, it would be a good gift for the lefty in your life.
This weekend I had the opportunity to taste a lovely sparkling red wine. Even though I knew it was a sparkling Shiraz, I couldn't help but think it would be light colored, like a rosé. However, when I poured Vixen by Fox Creek Wines into my glass, it was definitely a full-bodied red color. The effervescence caused by the bubbles added just the right bit of fizz, and it definitely rounded out the subtle black cherry flavor. Overall, it was very smooth and fruity, but had just enough bubbly that it ended up dancing on your tongue. Sparkling reds are still uncommon in the US, but are increasing in popularity in Australia and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace on our shores. Available for $19.99.
This week I thought I'd we'd get the grill going with a nice big tri-tip. My mom is a sucker for bbq and I know she especially loves a good tri-tip, so when I saw this recipe I thought it would be nice to try on Mother's Day. The tri-tip is marinated in a nice shiraz (aka syrah) and soy combination, making it the perfect dish to throw onto a smokey bbq. Do all the hard work today and let mom relax with a glass of the fruity, yet somewhat rich, wine. To check out the recipe, read more
A few weekends ago Emily (my bff), Gabe, and I ran into our favorite local wine shop, Vine and Barrel, to pick up a bottle (or 2) of wine to bring to dinner at my parents house. Jason the owner, an awesome guy who is super friendly and always helpful, met us with big bear hugs. After we said our hellos we got down to business. Grilled spiced rub turkey breast and sweet potato fries were on the menu for the evening, so Jason suggested that we pair the turkey with a Rumball sparkling Shiraz. Sparkling Shiraz? A red sparkling wine? Neither Emily nor I even knew that such a thing existed and you can imagine our giddy excitement. But did Jason have a bottle chilled for us? You bet he did (gotta love this guy)! When we got to my house, Emily opened the bottle while I rounded up the champagne glasses. The wine was a beautiful, dark ruby color with teeny bubbles and pink fizz. The south Australian wine was elegant with fruity flavors, a soft smooth palate and lots of depth. I fully enjoyed this wine, it was completely complementary with the turkey and I will definitely remember to serve this next November at Thanksgiving dinner.