There are so many varieties of red wine in South Africa that one can be spoiled for choice. I find I go through stages of preferring one type to another – much depends on the weather, whether or not I am enjoying it with food, or if I am sipping it on my own whilst enjoying the last light of the day. Shiraz has been a recent favourite.

The name Shiraz is interchangeable with Syrah – much has been written about the similarities and differences between these names. According to Winemag [link below], these particular red grapes express themselves differently depending on the climate, soil and regional style, although certain characteristics remain the same. Those characteristics include their boldness and full-bodied flavour, with aromatic notes of smoke, black fruit and pepper spice. I cannot vouch for the aromatic notes, but do enjoy a full-bodied wine when the occasion calls for one.

Given how warm it gets here in the summer, it is common practice to chill red wine for at least fifteen minutes before opening. This ensures that the wine won’t taste warm and a little dull. The good thing about Shiraz too is that, if capped or corked after opening and kept in the ‘fridge, the taste remains for a couple of days – so there is no need to quaff it all at once.

A particularly delicious choice recently was Groote Post Darling Hills Shiraz 2019 – a delightful and unexpected gift. Apart from the robust flavour, I like its dark ruby-red to purple hue.

Wine labels have always intrigued me and so I looked up the name of this winery – there is a fascinating history behind it in the link below, which is well worth reading. Wine-making has a long history in this country and Groote Post is no exception, being an historic 18th century farm on the West Coast of the Cape Province – an area famous too for its annual display of spring flowers.  An intriguing quote In 1808 this was Groene Kloof (now known as Mamre) where many of the vegetables required to supply the fleets of the Dutch East India Company were grown. Here, too, grazing was necessary to support the great herds of cattle and flocks of sheep owned by the Honourable Company provides an interesting link with the VOC [Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie – Dutch East India Company] on the label. This is engraved on an historic slave bell with the date 1706 – a nod to the past.

Groote Post (biggest post) was a large guard station on the property overlooking grazing areas to prevent cattle-raiding, which was prevalent at the time. A homestead was later built with the same name.

Interesting further reading:


37 thoughts on “SHIRAZ

  1. South African wines are definitely amongst the best in the world IMO. Like you, what I drink depends on the weather, and also very much how I feel that day. Usually I prefer predominantly a white in summer heat, and a red in cold weather or rain. At the moment, at my price point, my faves are the plain old Woolies Grigio and the Woolies Merlot. I’m not much of a connoisseur, but I know what I like! 😊. That Shiraz looks like it’s worth a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Price plays an important part in my choice – this particular Shiraz was a gift – as well as the labels. Woolies wines are generally good (a pity we do not have ready access to them here!) and I enjoy the smooth quality of Merlot.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am always pleased to know that people elsewhere enjoy South African wines – and purchase them – for our wine industry has suffered greatly from the particular restrictions placed on the liquor trade since the you-know-what pandemic began.


  2. I am partial to Shiraz these days – once upon a time it was vintage / aged Cab Sauvignon. Or on occasion a Pinotage.
    But I have gotten past the zillion-bucks-for-a good-bottle phase.
    Not every wine has to be a 1979 Zonnebloem Cab! ( Yes I had quite a few of these … once upon a time!) 🙂
    There are plenty of young wines from smaller wineries that are just great with a roast or pasta. And as they are not a fortune I have no feelings of guilt making a Katemba.
    We have a few Black Tie Shiraz from good the ol’ Food Lovers wine section.

    Nice post, Anne.


    • Thank you. I like Black Tie too – more in my price range. No wine snobbery here for I care far more about the taste than the cost. Pinotage and Cab Sav are great with food – I find a little ‘heavy’ on their own 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As you well know, Shiraz or Syrah I like. I’ll look out for this one. You may also realise that, during the apartheid years, we didn’t have South African wines so I never really learned anything about them.


  4. I had a glass (or two) of Shiraz every night until November 2019. I enjoyed it, it was my way to wind down after a long day. Then my husband had unexpected open heart surgery and I decided to drink water for a while, because one cannot be a caretaker and drink alcohol. Never went back to drinking but if I ever will, it will be Shiraz. 🙂


  5. I don’t drink much wine and know little to nothing about it. I do have friends that prefer wine. I usually keep on hand what they are currently drinking. Other times I choose wine by the label. I like labels that look like fun. Or in one instance I chose a wine with a rabbit on the front. I figure I can’t keep rabbits from destroying plants in my garden so I will keep them off the liquor store shelves. 😉 Of course that doesn’t always work either. I will just have to keep at it. 🙂


  6. I learned a few things here in this post Anne. My boss likes his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines, which orders from a retailer there, but when he visited South Africa three or so years ago, he liked a wine there so much, he had some shipped home to enjoy here.


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