Shiraz $10-$20 Wine Reviews

Are you a fan of shiraz? Here's a tasting done with five wines ranging from $10-$20. Our tasting group included winetasters of all levels of experience, and we tried our samples with and without food.

If you've never tried shiraz before, read up on my shiraz information. Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape. The French call the grape Syrah, while the Australians call it Shiraz. Other countries use one or the other of the names.

Shiraz is a nice wine for newcomers to wine to try. It has gentle flavors of plum, pepper and blackberry. If you're new to wine, feel free to ask me if you have any questions about terms used or how these wines might suit your own preferences!

2003 Red Bicyclette Syrah (France), $9.99

A French syrah done in the French style. We found hints of plum in this wine, but in general found it on the bitter side.

2002 Fat Bastard Shiraz (France), $9.99

The exact same grape grown in the same location (Vin de Pays d'oc, France), But Fat Bastard is done in the Aussie style. This was a fuller flavor, with a light peppery, plum flavor. The mouth feel was on the thin side, as if it was watered down. It was fine on its own, but didn't stand up well to food.

2001 Blackstone Syrah (California), $10.99

This French-style Syrah is rich and subtle, with medium body, medium tannins. There are lovely flavors of blackberry, plum, pepper, and gentle oak. Nice garnet color, nice finish.

2002 Rosemount Shiraz (Australia), $12.99

Nice aroma, full body with plum, blackberry, pepper flavors. Great mouth feel, lighting up the entire inside of our mouths. Nice rich color as well.

2002 Rosemount Hill of Gold Shiraz (Australia), $17.99

Very full aroma, very full flavor. Tingles the inside of your mouth. The typical plum, pepper, blackberry flavors plus cinnamon and clove hints as well. Lovely finish.

Shiraz pairs well with spicy foods and went very well with the hard cheezes and other appetizers we tried the wines with. This tasting was a great example that each taster has his or her own taste buds. Some of us liked the Hill of Gold best for its complex flavors. Others preferred the $12.99 Rosemount, for its easy drinking and great food pairing. One taster liked the Fat Bastard best, with its more gentle flavors and mild aroma.

Whatever YOU like is best for you! Your tongue is unique, your taste bud combination is unique. Be sure to taste Syrahs and Shirazzes for yourself to see what works best for you.

As always, feel free to write Lisa and her tasting crew to chime in with your own views on these wines, or suggestions of what we should try next!

We buy all of these wines with our own money at our local wine shop, so we are drinking the exact same selections that you can find yourself. If you can't find these wines locally, please let us know!

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