I was looking for a Shiraz to pair with meat chilli and headed for Waitrose, my nearest supermarket. I chose Shiraz because although it is fruit driven it tends to be more spice than fruit and is a good match for foods with strong flavours such as: charred lamb or beef cooked on the BBQ,  spiced lamb kebabs cooked under a grill or on a griddle and Chilli Con Carne. This wine is produced biodynamically which means that as well as being organic the grapes are grown and harvested in harmony with lunar cycles.

The ingredients in the dish were minced beef, onion, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, fresh red chilies, a glass of red wine, chicken stock, tinned plum tomatoes, ground cumin, ground coriander and ground chilli, red kidney beans, button mushrooms and a green pepper, served with American long grain rice and pitta bread. The chilli was not fiery, just spicy.

The Hedonist 2015 Shiraz McLaren Vale was my wine of choice. The tasting notes promised silky dark fruit and an intense palate. On uncorking and decanting the wine the colour promised much; rich, dark, velvety red – so inviting. The nose was disappointing, just a hint of black fruit. In the glass it had great legs, as you would expect from a 14% volume, full bodied wine. The palate was blackcurrant with raspberry, pleasant but nothing amazing, without layers and poor length for a wine of this price. Once tasted the nose changed from black fruit to acetone. The wine was well balanced in tannin and acidity but it wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting. With the food, it was disappointing and was not a good match. Not unpleasant, just didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor. After two days in the decanter the nose changed to a much stronger, intense black fruit; Morello cherries, which are sour, rather than sweet, mellow black cherries. 

I think that this wine is too young to drink now. For me the flavours were just not there, even before I paired it with food.

On reflection, this wine is a southern hemisphere wine which I have paired with a Northern hemisphere food. Perhaps, in this case,  I have chosen the wrong food and am including the post in my blog so that you don’t make the same mistake!

I purchased this wine from Waitrose. It cost £13.99.

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Read my wine and food column in the Bournemouth Echo on the first Saturday of every month.