The first Shiraz I ever tried was the Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz. “Sweet” was exactly the word that enticed me to take a chance on the red vino. Of course, this was back in my Riesling-only days. I decided to be adventurous and dabble across the divide of whites vs. reds, although I was thoroughly convinced that I could never truly enjoy any of the red stuff.
I chilled the Jam Jar and popped it open one night with my boyfriend. I was pleasantly surprised. It was sweet. And it was delicious. After that one bottle though, it took a while for me to purchase another. It was sweet and fruity…but savored best in small doses.
This past week, I decided to give Shiraz another go. A co-worker had turned me on to the Indaba brand. Its wines are produced in South Africa and are marked at a great price. The first varietal I tried from them was the Sauvignon Blanc. A world away from my sweet Rieslings, I found that I still enjoyed this white’s crisp and somewhat dry flavor. I immediately awarded Indaba brownie points and then decided to purchase their Shiraz.
The Shiraz has a lovely berry aroma that fills your nostrils and precedes the full, fruity flavor. It has just a hint of sweetness; definitely not as overpowering as Jam Jar. It’s easy to sip on its own and also pairs well with pasta and red sauce. At the price, this bottle is a steal. I’ve already made a mental note to stock up on a few more bottles. Indaba isn’t a largely recognized name, but you would do well to give it a try. I’m certainly not sorry that I did. I happily award this beautiful Shiraz with 9 out of 10 stars. The balance of fruit and acidity sits perfectly on the palate, filling the senses with berry and dark chocolate notes. Enjoy a glass while curling up on the couch with your favorite book or as an accompaniment to a steak dinner.
Although Pinot Noir is still the reigning champion of red wines for me, Shiraz has found itself to be a close competitor at #2. It drinks easily and as of now, I’m 2 for 2 with the ones I have tried. Its complex berry taste makes it easy to sip on and the perfect libation to enjoy after a long day at work. With a fuller body than the Pinot Noir, I think that it might end up being my red of choice for the next few weeks here–at least until the cool Tallahassee weather finally wears out.