Whether enjoyed alone after a long day or being paired with a delicious meal in the company of good friends, drinking red wine is always a magical experience. There are different types of red wine, each with their own distinct taste and smell. While it is not essential to know everything about wine in order to enjoy a glass, there’s no harm in learning about the wine so that you can be informed. The more you know, the greater appreciation you will have.

KWV is dedicated to demystifying wine. There’s no right or wrong way to taste wine – it simply comes down to whether you enjoy and like what you are drinking.  The folks at KWV want to help you get better acquainted with your wines, without any intimidation, so that you can enjoy your wine your way.

KWV wants to provide you with just enough information so that you have a working knowledge of the different type of wine varietals.

Getting to Know Shiraz

Shiraz is one of the darkest red wines with plenty of tannins and a bold taste. In Europe and the USA, it is known as Syrah. It is one of the most widely planted grapevines in the world, and it is successfully grown in almost every wine producing country.

“Shiraz is like a wild teenager that requires good discipline and, as a result, we tend to plant it on more difficult or poor soils and restrict food and water to keep it on track,” says Marco Ventrella, KWV Viticulturist.

The grape originates from Rhone in France with two little known grapes as the parents: Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. The Shiraz grapes arrived in South Africa in the second half of the 17th century. Today, many see it as Cape Town’s most exciting red grape, and its popularity means that there is even a dedicated awards ceremony – the South African Shiraz awards.

It is a wine that is fruity, and peppery and is high in tannin – a structural element that helps frame a wine (if you have had black tea, you have tasted tannin). A great bonus is that due to the high level of these tannins, Shiraz has one of the highest levels of health-benefiting antioxidants.

“Shiraz is spicy but also very generous with dark and red fruits, and juicy as a wine,” says Ventrella.

It is known to be a full- bodied wine, which means that it feels heavy in the mouth. Take a sip, and you will enjoy flavours of dark fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, and rich soft fruits. Other notes include liquorice, tobacco, herbs and chocolate.

Food Pairing
Due to its full flavour and its high acidity, Shiraz is the perfect wine to pair with food – it’s destined for meats such as lamb and venison – but will also pair well with pork, or even duck with strongly flavoured sauces, providing that the sauce is not too sweet. If you prefer red over white, then shiraz will also work as an accompaniment for fish such as salmon.  Here’s an easy recipe to enjoy with a glass or two of KWV Classic Shiraz.

“At KWV we source our grapes from the most sought-after regions in the winelands, and because of this, our shiraz wine has been consistently praised.  Everything is treated like a boutique winery with great attention to details.  We, the wine team, are, after all, our own customers,” says Ventrella.

For information on KWV wines, have a look at their online shop.