Snacks to pair with shiraz
We’ve all been there in the late afternoon; entertaining with some friends over a great bottle, still full from lunch but not quite ready for dinner. Or maybe just not inclined to cook until after this next glass.
In either case, here’s some top snack pairing suggestions for shiraz for the next time you're feeling peckish.
Black olives are great to pair up with cooler climate syrah-styles. We’re pulling out a jar of tapenade here, slicing up a warm baguette, pouring a glass and going to town. The savoury-saltiness of the tapenade will amplify the fruit you’re getting in each sip and brightens up each mouthful. Yes please.
Cured meat or grilled vegetable antipasti
Shiraz can often be too heavy for lighter veggie based antipasti, but let it loose with some grilled eggplant or capsicums and it comes into its own. With the meats, think about how big and bold you’re going - more delicate cool climate syrah (think Mornington Peninsula) will go great with more delicate, wafer thin bresaola and parma ham; bolder Barossa will go great with aged salamis - if you’re feeling spicy, try it with a little tapas plate of spitting hot chorizo. Think delicate-for-delicate, bold-for-bold pairings.
This one is such a winner it seemed too obvious to open with it - a real mofo fave. You can dehydrate the steak, but you can’t take the vibrancy out of the pairing with a gold old SA shiraz. Red fruit, meet red meat; pepper seasoning, meet pepper spice in the glass. Plus the tannin and acidity of the wine will help break it down and give your jaw a rest from all that chewing.
Smokey bacon or barbecue chips
As with the above, take what syrah and shiraz does well in a main course and convert it into something bitesize. Salty, smoky and even more delicious with a generous glass of red. Win win, the hardest part will be trying not to eat the whole bag (or drain the bottle) by yourself in one sitting.
You want a bold cheese to match a bold wine like a shiraz - think a nice sharp tangy blue cheese, gouda or a cheddar for a winning combination here. They’ll provide that salty-savoury counterpoint to the plush red fruits in the glass, and tannin will match up to the structure of an aged, hard cheese. Pure dairy decadence here.
Red wine and chocolate is frequently tagged as a “classic” pairing - though we're giving this one a couple of caveats. First, make sure your chocolatier had a heavy hand when they were mixing in the cocoa solids - we’re looking for 70% plus to make sure the chocolate has a bit of texture and bitterness - and second, hope that they held back on adding sugar too.
If the chocolate is too sweet, or doesn’t have a solid cocoa-y backbone, the wine is going to taste perceptively bitter and you’ll be picking up more tannin on your tongue, fewer juicy red fruits. For cooler climate syrah, reach for a bar with at least 85% cocoa; for big bold Barossa shiraz you can probably hang out at around 70%. Only one way to test though; grab a bar of both and a bottle of each?
Grab the snacks from the kitchen, and your next favourite shiraz from here.