Also known as Syrah in France and a major role player in some of the world’s greatest and cheapest red wines and blends.
What you need to know
This classic black grape is known as Syrah in France, Italy and California and Shiraz in more or less the rest of the world.
The wines are powerful, full bodied, spicy, and alcoholic red or rosé wines. You mostly get blackberry and pepper flavours often with hints of chocolate and coffee enhanced by use of oak.
You get what you pay for, at the lower end you get soft, sweet wines (a bit like Ribena) and at the upper end you get elegant, complex, sophisticated wines.
Sometimes blended with a drop of Viognier for a hint of je ne sais quoi!
The best Shiraz/Syrahs are found in the Barossa Valley and Maclaren Vale in Australia and the Northern Rhône in France in wines like Côtes Rôtie and St Joseph.
Top tip – I think they are a good starting point if you want to explore red wines.
Tim Adams is a safe bet if you want reasonably priced, great quality wines and this Shiraz goes to prove this point. It's under £10 and is rich, deep and has a classic combination of luscious dark fruit and a waft of smokiness. Settle back and sup.