You say Shiraz I say Syrah

Posted by wine-gums in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“I only drink Aussie Shiraz.”

That’s great, but do you know why?  Have you thought about what attracts you to Aussie Shiraz is it: the colour, aroma, taste, stength, or body?  Why don’t you like other red wine?

The compendium of wine is both enticing and intimidating; it also belongs to everyone.  You cannot choose the wrong wine, only a bad one.  Restricting yourself to a single well defined group of wines to avoid the risk of choosing a bad one is, in my opinion, denying the very real sensory pleasure which trying a new wine can bring.

Shiraz is grown all around the New World.  Syrah is grown in Europe.  They are the same grape.  Whatever we call it, whilst the wines will vary in style according to the growing conditions and wine making techniques of any particular region they all have in common those busty lusty characteristics loved by Aussie Shiraz drinkers.

Here are some suggestions which show both the variety and consistence of Shiraz/Syrah, plus some of those Aussie Shiraz we all simply cannot do without.

  1. My weapon of choice for a Syrah would be the Guigal 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  This wine wears the best lingerie and the finest silk stockings.
  2. And at the other end of the spectrum but still always fun-filled and lively is any Corbières – a brilliant Syrah and the “don’t mind if I do” three-bottles-a-day red wine which got me wine drinking in the first place.  Spend £7 and treat yourself.
  3. What about a Syrah rosé? Trust me.  Majestic Wine have this bonkers good syrah rose Domaine La Chautarde Rosé 2011 Côteaux Varois en Provence.
  4. If you can’t get hold of the Guigal at least have a crack at this excellent example of  Châteauneuf-du-Pape also from Majestic wine.  The Cuvée des Antiques CndP is easy affordable and accessible either the 2008 or 2009.
  5. Time go new world now with the Errazuriz Estate Shiraz from Chile.  A supermarket staple which is both excellent quality and value. Just go and get some.
  6. This is a great but pricey smooth example of the grape from California which you should try.  Qupé Syrah ‘Bien Nacido Hillside Estate’ 2006 Santa Maria Valley.  Again at Majestic Wine.
  7. Just to remind ourselves, we’ll quickly go back to Australia and   try this Billi Billi Victoria 2008 Grampians 100% Shiraz.  Good?  Good! You’ll find this at The Wine Society.
  8. But if size is important to you this Turkey Flat Butchers Block Shiraz Mourvedre Grenache blend from barossa valley a MASSIVE wine.  Just search on line.
  9. Same blend but now across to South Africa is this d’Arenburg One Hundred and Four.  Good with that definite SA burnt twang.  This is also from The Wine Society.
  10. You’ve done well to get this far so we’ll finish off with three Aussie Shiraz.  The first is from Jim Barry The McRae Wood Clare Valley 2006. Big hot intense and pure class.  You’ll get it at Waitrose.
  11. If the McRae Wood is a bit too pricy the affordable Jim Barry cut is the Lodge Hill Clare valley 2010 which you can get from Majestic Wine.
  12. And finally we’ll finish on a high with have The Headonist McLaren Valley Shiraz.  Get the 2008 if you can find it.

You say Shiraz but I say Syrah – it’s all the same to me.

So you want to discuss Terroir

Posted by wine-gums in Terroir | Leave a comment

If you’re writing an article about terroir you better refer to: Kimmeridgian clay and the similarities between French champagne and English sparkling wine with particular reference to climate change; realise that terroir extends beyond soil and includes climate, topography and indeed tradition whilst acknowledging that AOC, DOCG, DOC accreditation has both a positive and negative impact on the perception on terroir; and to recognise that the sole ingredient of wine is the grape which is itself the very definition and essence of terroir.

Would you also like my thoughts on rosé wine?

The resurrection of the blog

Posted by wine-gums in Blog | Leave a comment

So, I’m going to ‘re-launch’ my blog…

I’ve gone all Word Press and I’m fretting about the design when I should really concentrate on creating the content and let the other stuff flow.  I do have some great ideas for what to write about; there is a lot happening in the world of wine, beer and food in the UK at the moment and I want to share my thoughts on all of this with all of you.