Mike is a freelance wine and drinks writer and journalist, wine judge and presenter based in Sydney. Mike is the Editor-At-Large and contributor for the wine commentary site The WIne Front, wine and drinks of delicious magazine, a columnist/feature writer for Gourmet Traveller Wine and co-director of Australia’s first sustainable and artisan wine and produce fair Rootstock Sydney.
Bust out the Aerogard, strap on your favourite thongs, pull out your ninja set of flame-grilling tools and stoke that BBQ with vigour. Few things paint a picture of Australian dining like a good-old-fashioned backyard barbie.
Proteins found sizzling and spitting away on a grill are generally ubiquitous with BBQing – sausages, steaks, chops, hunks of bloody meat looking for a decisive, smoky charring. There’s all sorts of ideas about drinking beer and white wine at such times, but few things hit the relevance button like ripping the top off a juicy, fleshy Barossa Shiraz.
Even on a forty-degree day standing in direct sunshine, there’s a sect of humans that just can’t be swayed from guzzling down the red nectar. Ruddy faced, back-slapping humans who thirst for the Barossa mother’s milk like it’s going to go out of fashion. Good on them.
Though the BBQ-hot day-blazing sunlight-Barossa shiraz model might not make sense to the sommelier-and-fancy-wine writer set, it’s doing a pretty decent job of matching the fare that’s about to be slapped down on paper plates and devoured with the ‘human cutlery’ of fists and fingers.
All that red meat protein, when it’s cooked and charred, tends to do well with the dark fruits, spice, earthiness and cedary wood that comes about from classic Barossa shiraz examples. It’s a fair call to dive into a languid, smooth, beefy red born from the old soils and cellars of the famed South Australian growing region.
You can imagine Charlie Melton digging it. Kevin Glastonbury of Yalumba red winemaking fame has a twinkle in his eye over a snag and shiraz. Reid Bosward of Kaesler wines has a black belt in BBQ. Tim Smith doesn’t count sheep to sleep, he’s counting lamb cutlets, and matching them up with his savoury shiraz.
When it’s in the DNA of the winemakers of the Barossa Valley, you know it’s going to work.