When friends invite you over for a blind shiraz tasting there is only one thing to do, go with wings on! So it went for a BLIND shiraz tasting. It was well-organized and formally conducted. Here were the rules of the game. Everyone had to arrive with a light appetizer and a bottle of shiraz. There were no rules for the shiraz, could be at any price point and could be from any country. The key was, of course, that the shiraz deemed as the best would win a prize. That being said, the one liked least would get a booby prize too!
Each shiraz was secretly brought into the house, absconded and taken to a secret location where it was dressed with a jacket preventing anyone from knowing which wine was which! Once all the wines had arrived, between fabulous cheese plates from , who else the Cheese Chicks at Charellis, the tasting began. Each Shiraz was poured and individually we each rated the shiraz with a number between 0-100 and by making some additional notes.
The shiraz grape can be huge and fruit forward, especially when it comes to the Australian kind, but we had shirazes from France, Argentina, Italy, South Africa and Australia. The complexity of the wines varied as did the heaviness.
In the end, the amazing happened. Every single person chose the same wine as their favourite. From a group of 10 people, this is relatively uncommon. The Shiraz most preferred by the group was the 2008 Nederburg Shiraz. For a wine selling in the Fort and Foul Bay Liquor store for $12.99 that is a big comment. It beat out other shirazes from Australia in the $30-40 range.
The next best wines were all very close in the end. One of the top contenders was The D'Arenberg Wild Pixie 2008 which is a shiraz with a little Rousanne grape mixed in. It sells for $29.99 at the Fort and Foul Bay Liquor store. The wine that seemed to be lieast liked was from an Italian Vineyard and was called the Cusumano. It sells for $17.99 at the Fort and Foul Bay Liquor Store!
Nevertheless, the fun of the blind tasting and then discovering the wines was fabulous! The cheese was wonderful, and the company was even more terrific. Another excellent wine night!