Colin’s Wine of the Week: Australia Day

25 Jan, 2013

By Colin Goundrey

barlees shiraz


Loop readers may receive a complimentary taste of wines featured in theLoop’s Wine of the Week at Bar’Lees in Mamaroneck. 


Varietal – Shiraz/Syrah (pronounced:  she-raz/si-rar)


So what’s the difference and why am I writing about something as common as Shiraz/Syrah?


Genetically, Shiraz and Syrah are the same – the differences come in style and origin. The old world Syrah tends to be leaner, spicier and more elegant, while the red superstar of the new world, particularly Australia, is often bigger with more fruit, more oak, more everything and that’s why I’ve chosen to write about an Aussie rock star.


This Saturday, January 26th is Australia Day – the same deal as America’s July 4th – a nation’s special day and so now that you have the Shiraz connection please read on….


North of the equator, Syrah is typically lighter bodied than its weightier alter ego, Shiraz, from the southern hemisphere. Syrah’s characteristics range from redcurrants, raspberry, and plum, with nearly always a super-dooper-dose of white pepper and spice. Shiraz boasts intense color, and at best, oozes smells of dark fruit, raspberry, earth, cedar and freshly ground pepper. Rich and seamless, its weight and intensity are key features. The power of new world Shiraz fruit is matched by moderate acidity and firm, drying tannins.


Just like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz can cope with some pretty big smelling and flavored foods, although Syrah has a slight advantage in that, being a tad lighter in style, it can cope with slightly lighter meat dishes and game.


So, given that Bar’Lees is celebrating Australia Day from 12pm on Saturday 26th, some 10 different examples of awesome Aussie Shiraz will be available to taste – the perfect flight for pairing with a “roo” burger or two.


Colin Goundrey is a partner at Bar’Lees Wine and Whisky bar in Mamaroneck.
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