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

Top pairings

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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