Category Archives: Red Wine

Shiraz vs Cabernet Sauvignon: Wine Regions, Aromas, Texture, Food Pairing

Did you always wonder how Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, two of the most popular grape varieties, fare against one another? Known for being used to produce some of the boldest and flavoursome red wines with intense colours, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are similar in many ways, but they have certain differences too. Read on to know how Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon fare on similar aspects:

Shiraz vs Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Regions

Talking particularly about Australian regions, Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is grown in hot climate zones and dominates the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions.

Cabernet Sauvignon rules well in the Maritime climate of two of its kingdoms – Margaret River and Coonawarra regions.


Aroma characters in Shiraz wines can range from violets to berries, espresso, chocolate, cloves, and black pepper.

Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon are known for their intense fruit flavour, subtle minty notes, blackcurrant, and grassy aromas.


Australian Shiraz is a full-bodied, jammier fruit with softer tannin. The high to low acidity and tannin levels of Shiraz grapes help in producing wines with promising aging potential.

Australian Cabernet Sauvignon makes dense, dark and tannic wines with noticeable acidity which contributes to aging potential of the wines.

Food Pairing

Think big and spicy flavours when it comes to food pairing with Australian Shiraz wines. Grilled or roast beef, beef stews, spicy sausages, and hard cheeses like Cheddar, pair extremely well with Australian style Shiraz wines.

On the other hand, steak is a great choice for pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Other food pairings that enhance the taste of a Cabernet Sauvignon wine include aged Cheddar cheese, grilled Portabello mushroom, braised beef, and grilled lamb.

Some Fine Examples

Shiraz wines

Tahbilk Rare 1860 Vines Shiraz 2013 Nagambie Lakes

Yalumba Rare & Fine Collection The Octavius Shiraz 2013 Barossa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon wines

Cullen Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Margaret River

Redman Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum 2013 Coonawarra


Get recharged with Reschke Bull Trader Shiraz

Reschke Bull trader shiraz

About the wine

This wine is well textured and vibrant. Filled with delicious flavours of blackberries and fruits. Makes good pairing with grilled eggplant and casseroles.

About the winery

The Reschke has a long history dating back to 1906. Hereford stud was established in the heart of Coonawarra during that time. It is also the source of inspiration for the bull logo on the labels of Reschke wines. The logo stands for ‘quality with no compromise’ which the winery deeply believes in.

Burke Reschke belongs to the fourth generation of Reschke family. In 1989, he undertook the initiative of growing grapes for other wineries present in the region. There was high demand of the grapes being grown at the Reschke estate and were used to produce some of the iconic wines. Empyrean was the first wine produced under the Reschke brand in 1998.

In Coonawarra, Reschke has vineyards spreading over 400 acres, most of which is Cabernet Sauvignon.

The racy – Rymill The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

Rymill the dark horse cabernet sauvignon

About the Wine

Rymill The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon makes an excellent pairing with roast pork and ravioli with mushrooms. Cellaring potential of this wine is 5-7 years, although it can also be consumed young.

About Rymill Coonawarra

The winery got established during early 70’s. The founder of the Rymill Coonawarra winery is Peter Riddoch.

Coonawarra region is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Not surprising, over half of its vineyards of the winery are planted of Cab Sauv grapes.

The winery believes that great wines from great grapes and the vineyards which are 40 years old rightly exemplify this. Apart from Cabernet Sauvignon some of the other grape varieties which are grown – Merlot, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay.

About the Winemaker

Sandrine Gimon is the senior winemaker. Having studied in Reims at the University of Sciences at the school of winemaking which selects only a handful of 24 students for its annual course, she completed her internship from Champagne and worked as a consultant winemaker. After having traveled and worked in Romania and Western Australia, she joined Rymill Coonawarra in 2005.

Awaken your senses – Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon

Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon

Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant and medium-bodied wine. It contains exciting fragrances of blackcurrants and choco-mint. The palate is complex with the notes of black olive and fine, silky tannins. Consume it young, however,cellaring it for a period of 5-10 years will benefit the wine further.

It was awarded 98 points in the Best 20 Reds Over $25 by James Halliday and was listed in James Halliday Top 100 wines of 2017.

Finest Shiraz Wine – Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz

Henschke Mount Edelstone

The first vintage of Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz was released in 1952.The 1956 vintage enjoyed immense success in various wine competitions across Australia and was recognized as one of the best Australian Shiraz.

The wine from the 2014 vintage is deep crimson colour and is packed with aromas of blackberries, blueberries and dark plums.Plums and blackberry flavors rule the well-balanced palate.Moderately high alcohol level can be found in the wine.The fruit of this wine is sourced from Mount Edelstone vineyard which is 100 years old and low yielding.The wine can be cellared for 25 years and has been awarded 97 points in James Halliday Wine Companion 2018.

Geographical and Economic Facts of Australian Shiraz Wines

It would not be wrong to say that Shiraz grape has changed the face of Australian wine industry. It is grown in the largest wine-grapes growing area of the country. In 2015, the total land area under this grape was 39890 hectares, which accounted for about 30 percent of the total land under under grape cultivation in Australia. The next largest area is under the white wine grape variety of Cabernet Sauvignon at about 25000 hectares.

Shiraz is also the most widely produced wine in Australia with 395000 tonnes crushed in 2015 and also the most exported wine with 207 million litres exported in 2015. Interestingly, the cabernet sauvignon red grape variety does not take the second position in terms of tonnage crushed or exports. It takes the third position, with the second position going to white wine variety of Chardonnay in terms of tonnes crushed as well as exports.

Shiraz is believed to have come to Australia from Europe, where it was called Syrah. Some experts suggest that Europe, particularly France, is the birth place of this grape. But, some people also suggest that the ancient Iranian city of Shirazi also cultivated this grape variety and it is considered to be its birthplace. Irrespective of the birth place, it is a fact that this wine has been the face of this nation’s wine industry in front of the world community. It has earned it a place of pride among the wine-producing nations of the world.

Riverland-Riverina Wine Regions

Shiraz is grown mostly in the Riverland and Riverina regions of Australia. Together, these account for 43% of Shiraz growing region. Riverland wine region is in the state of South Australia. This region is situated where the Murray river enters South Australia from the border of New South Wales and Victoria. From there, the region stretches till the Blanchetown downstream. This region is situated to the east of another famous wine region, the Barossa Valley. Riverland is the largest wine producing area of Australia.

Riverina region is another wine region where Shiraz is grown. This region lies in south-western part of state of New South Wales, to the east of Riverland region and to west of the Great Dividing Range. This is a flat plains region drained by Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, and the northernmost boundary of this region is identified by catchment area of River Lachlan. This is also the region which is home to Aborigines. Thus, the wine region comprises both the agricultural and the pastoral areas.

Best Shiraz Wines

Almost all famous wine brands of Australia produce Shiraz wines. These are grown in wide variety of climatic conditions. Some of the best shiraz wines are also featured in the video below.

Red Wines Vineyard Area Trends Since 2001

Red Wines Vineyard Area Trends
 Shiraz Vineyards Area Vineyard area of Shiraz grape has remained more or less same since 2006. With beginning of this century, there was initially an increase in the vineyard area till 2009, but a slight decline was registered since then.
 Cabernet Sauvignon- Vineyards Area Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard area has declined slightly since 2001 but this decline is not very significant.
 Malbec Vineyards Area Wide fluctuations seen in the vineyard area under Malbec grape variety. The trend was first of declining, from 2001 to 2008. Thereafter, it increased and, by 2015, all time largest area was under this varietal.
 Pinot Noir Vineyard Area Pinot Noir vineyard area grew marginally from 2001 to 2009 and became more or less consistent from there on.


 Grenache Vineyard Area Grenache red wine grape has seen a consistent decline in the vineyard area since 2001. The decline is the result of shifts in consumer and wine-make preferences.
 Merlot-Vineyards-Area Merlot vineyard area has seen a cycle of increase and then decline, reaching almost the same levels in 2015 from where the journey began in 2001. All in all, drinkers seem to be losing interest in it as a varietal.
 Zinfandel Vineyard area Vineyard area for Zinfandel increased from 2004 to 2010 and declined thereafter till 2015. Data was not available for period 2001-2003.
 Tempranillo Vineyard Area The Tempranillo vineyard area has seen pretty decent increase since 2001. It has grown almost 600% since 2001, and has been more or less consistent since 2012.