The Resveralife Eat Well Guide: Shiraz Food Pairings
Shiraz wine is a popular and very versatile wine. There are many different styles of Shiraz wine from intense smoky flavors to lush fruity flavors. The styles of Shiraz vary based on price, age and the region of origin. The Shiraz wine is more or less the same as the Syrah wine. It’s just that the most popular styles of Australia are known as Shiraz. The Australian Shiraz is a distinctive full-bodied red wine. Australian Shiraz typically features fruity flavors, such as blackberry, and is a less tannic wine than other Shiraz styles. France’s Rhone Valley also produces a signature Syrah. The Rhone Valley Syrah is marked by it’s powerful smokey flavors with hints of black pepper. California Syrah is most closely associated with Australian Shiraz, as the American Syrah is a fruitier wine as opposed to the savory European Shiraz.
When selecting food to pair with a strong, savory Shiraz, such as the French version that elicits hints of bold spices such as black pepper, it is important that the food be equally bold in flavor. Shiraz does not pair well with highly acidic food or meats that are particularly fatty. Devise a main course with the idea of lean meats with strong flavors.
One of the best pairings for a Shiraz, fruity or savory, is brisket. Brisket is a Texas classic made from lean cuts of meat. There is, traditionally, a fat cap near the top of the brisket to add a bit of flavor and richness. The lean meat in brisket becomes a tough meat when grilled quickly. What makes this lean protein source perfect to pair with Shiraz is the rub used for the brisket. Think spices such as paprika, chili powder and black pepper. These spices help highlight the intensity of Shiraz wine.
Another meat that pairs brilliantly with Shiraz is lamb. For an easy, but masterfully paired meal, season lamb with black pepper and salt. Add more complexity to the dish by using spices such as rosemary, garlic and a hearty olive oil. Alternatively, make a hearty lamb stew and pair it with Shiraz. Carrots, potatoes and onions pair nicely with the lamb and add substance to the dish. For the more adventurous, try a mildly spicy venison chili. Venison is a great lean meat to pair with Shiraz and works perfectly in place of beef in chili. As with the brisket, paprika and chili powder are excellent spices to use in a venison chili.
Shiraz, because it is so richly flavored, is not the best wine to select for a night of cheese and wine pairings. Shiraz can be paired with a strong or smoked Cheddar. For a Shiraz that leans to the softer, more fruity side, consider a mild blue cheese. Skip sweeter cheeses and focus on those with distinctive flavor to enhance the boldness of the Shiraz.
Most typically, Shiraz is paired with lean proteins such as lamb, lean beef, venison or other game. Do not be afraid to add spice to the dishes chosen for Shiraz wine pairing. Shiraz wine is perfect for pairing with rich, complex spice combinations. Vine Vera recommends you to be creative and experiment with exciting flavors when pairing Shiraz wine with food.