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A guide to choosing a Syrah wine

Syrah, Shiraz by either name is a deeply coloured, weighty red wine that carries the parent Shiraz or Syrah grape name. France, the United States, and several other countries know the grape as Syrah. Australia calls the robust red wine, swelling with flavours reminiscent of spices and fruits, Shiraz. The wine pairs well with red meats, root vegetables, and spicy foods.

Get to know the taste of red wine

Finding a Syrah wine that suits your taste can be tricky, especially for those people who are new to wine and have yet to develop an educated palate. Learn your preference in red wines by attending wine tastings and shopping at wine retailers who can answer questions and offer suggestions. Joining a Wine-of-the Month club is a good way to find a favourite wine and become familiar with the names of wines and their lineage. Start with light or blended wines to get to know the taste. Invite friends to bring a bottle of their favourite Syrah wine to a
wine-tasting at your home, then decide which wines you like best and why.

Pairing red wine with food

When choosing a Syrah wine to serve with food, it is important to match the flavour of the wine to the flavour of the food. Syrah wine has a complex personality. Its mood, often described as smoky, peppery, woodsy, earthy, or spicy, takes on multiple identities. Many ethnic and local foods have multi-layered temperaments as well. Try pairing Indian curries, hot and spicy Mexican, intense barbecue sauces, and charcoal grilled steaks with Syrah. Instead of the wine and food clashing, they play on their differences and enhance their similarities by complementing the strong and subtle nuances in the wine and the dish.

The effect of red wine growing regions

Climate affects the taste of Syrah grapes. Warmer climates such as Australia and South Africa produce softer flavours. If you like a red wine with mellow tones, select an Australian Shiraz or South African Syrah. Cooler France produces a Syrah with a spicier flavour. Fruity Shiraz wines appeal to sweet wine drinkers. Sweet wines are great for sipping without food or sipping with chocolates and desserts. Dry Syrah wines appeal to dry wine lovers. Red wine Merlot and Pinot noir red wine are classic reds which many people enjoy by simply sipping without foods. A well-chosen red wine serves nicely with dishes such as duck, wild game, lamb, pork, cheese, and vegetarian foods. Generally, a Syrah wine served with any of these dishes should have more acidity. Tannins (acids) clear buttery and fatty flavours from the palate, so each new bite of food presents a fresh burst of taste.

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