LCBO Pick of the Week: Feb 4

The Hidden Sea of the Limestone Coast 2013 Shiraz (South Australia)

Price $16.75
LCBO # 402628 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Red berries, slightly jammy, with Syrah’s signature spicy backbeat.
Pairs with: Hanger steak, pork chop, lamb sirloin, good hot dogs, chicken strips, Doritos.
Good for: Snacking and Monday night fridge-foraging. Perfect for Super Bowl snacking and yelling.
Alcohol: 14.5%
Drink: Now.

Why we're drinking this
This is a tasty wine with commercial appeal. And we’re not knocking that fact. Easy drinking wines fill a definite need in the market and we’re not too snobby to appreciate a well-made little number that’s forthright and tasty. I’d call it the ideal introduction to Syrah because it has all the easygoing Syrah flavours (red berries, sweet spice, subtle earthiness) and none of the difficult ones (bacon fat, charcuterie, beets, black pepper). Speaking of pig skin, this is a perfect Super Bowl wine: it’s got the heft for wings, chili and cheesy snacks. And it’s a good wine at a good price — and much, much better than many similarly priced brands with larger marketing budgets. You know what I’m talking about.

Tasting note
First off, the alcohol is high on this wine, which makes it challenging for “fine” food. High-alcohol wines can overpower the taste buds. Well, that’s ok. This is a fruit-forward wine that would rather mingle in the living room than sit at a linen-dressed dining room table. This Syrah has a lovely nose of red berries, plum and eucaplyptus — it’s superbly clean and fresh. The palate is bright, with lots of that red fruit, and delicious cocoa and vanilla. It’s tangy and has a little smoke, almost a flinty quality. There’s nice balance here. Enough acidity to cut through the alcohol and ripe fruit. The finish is clean, long and just a tad spicy. Really good value in an easy-drinking wine. I keep reaching for another sip… that’s a good sign. (Though I don’t much care for football.)

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This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder