Top pairings | Six of the best food pairings for Australian Shiraz

Pairings | McLaren Vale shiraz

Six of the best food pairings for Australian Shiraz

What most people probably think of in terms of Australian red wine is a Barossa or McLaren Vale shiraz - big, lush, sweet and ripe, the ideal pairing for grilled or barbecued beef. Hunter Valley shiraz typically has a more savoury character that suits meats like venison and kangaroo while Western Australian shiraz is made in a more elegant style, almost like a red Bordeaux, making it a good pairing for lamb.

Australian shiraz is typically much sweeter and riper than European-style syrah or syrah blends so I wouldn’t personally pair it with French food - or Italian dishes come to that. Think big flavours - and spice.

Here are my six best pairings

* grilled or roast beef especially served rare or with a pepper sauce.

* barbecue, especially for younger less expensive shiraz and sparkling shiraz. Ribs, spicy sausages and smoked brisket in particular. Probably the best way to cook veggies if you’re looking for a vegetarian pairing

* big beefy stews such as ox cheek especially ones cooked in wine or with a touch of smoky spice like a chilli

* roast or grilled lamb, especially with more restrained Western Australia shiraz

* kangaroo. Sounds clichéed but Aussies do eat it and its rich gamey meat suits shiraz a treat. Failing that, venison

* Strong hard cheeses especially cheddar. With its sweetness it can also handle a mellow blue.

These pairings would also apply to other shiraz that is made in the Australian style such as some of those from South Africa.

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