Wine…It’s What’s For Dinner
Syrah, also known as shiraz, is one of the darkest red wines – darker than cabernet sauvignon. Syrah originated in France and in certain small wine districts in the Rhône Valley, like Hermitage, the only red grape allowed is syrah. When the grapes were planted in Australia and the wine was made there, Australian wine makers took to calling it shiraz (shiraz is Australia’s most famous red wine). In some countries like South Africa and the United States, this wine can go by either syrah or shiraz, depending on the winemaker’s preference, but they are the same wine. Consistently, syrah is a full-bodied wine with medium to high tannins. Because of the amount of tannins, syrah contains large amounts of antioxidants benefiting your health (as if you needed another excuse to drink wine…). Though it has those characteristics, syrah can differ depending on if it’s an Old World or a New World. Syrah made in the Old World tend to have flavors that are more earthy and gamey, like smoke, black olives, and roasted meats. A New World syrah tends to be fruitier, less gamey, but still can contain the potent spice. Syrah is a bold wine, but an elegant one.
Food it pairs well with: Lamb; Barbeque Pork; Steak; Portabella Mushrooms
Recommended Recipe: Portabella Burgers from MyRecipes
- 4 portabella mushroom caps (about 5 in. wide; 1 to 1 1/4 lb. total)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup canned peeled roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 pound thin-sliced Swiss cheese
- 4 round sandwich buns (about 4 in. wide; 3/4 lb. total)
- Butter or margarine (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 to 2 cup watercress leaves, rinsed and drained
How to make:
- Rinse and drain mushrooms, then rub lightly with oil.
- Lay the mushroom caps, cup (gill) sides down, on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill.
- Cook until juices start to drip from the mushroom caps, about 5 minutes. Turn caps over and continue to cook until mushrooms are flexible and no longer firm when pressed, 5 to 7 minutes longer.
- Lay an equal portion of the red peppers in each cap and cover with cheese. Continue cooking until cheese melts, about 3 minutes.
- As cheese melts, split buns, butter if desired, and lay cut sides down on grill until lightly toasted.
Recommended CO Wines: Infinite Monkey Theorem Syrah; Balistreri 2015 Colorado Syrah (Talbott Vineyard & Horse Mountain Vineyard); Avanti Winery Syrah; Carboy Rosé of Syrah