One of my New Year’s resolutions is to try a bottle of wine each month, and for January, I picked the 2011 Santa Rosa Shiraz-Malbec (Argentina). On hindsight, I realized it was a bad choice for a novice like me since I’m not educated enough to have appreciated the combination of the blend. I should have first gone with either Shiraz (my original plan was to get an Australian, for which it is famous, but I balked at the price, lol) or Malbec, both of which share a similar profile: medium- to full-bodied, fruity and spicy, and high in tannin.
The 2011 Santa Rosa Shiraz-Malbec has a deep cherry color, with a velvety mixture. While aromatic—I imagined a plum and blackberry vineyard* heavily covered with foliage in the nighttime, when the earth, now moist, is cooling from the summer day—the intensity is light and you’ll have to bring your glass closer to your nose if you want to get a whiff.
The taste, initially full-bodied, turned soft and smooth as I gave it a whirl in my mouth—its spiciness and tannin (that bitter quality of reds) had a short finish. I did not find it acidic at all.
Nevertheless, it is still formal enough to be paired with an entrée, preferably dinnertime and specifically, with red meat. I tried it which chicken, and the wine easily overwhelmed my meal. (I then peppered my chicken with… um, pepper, in my attempt to harmonize the two—and it worked! So I think this wine would complement saucy Spanish dishes (mine was afritada; it would probably clash with the more complex Indian or Thai cuisine.) With beef, it was perfect; I loved how it added seriousness to my corned beef, lol.
I wouldn’t recommend this as a gift to your host only because it can be very imposing, especially if you’re not aware of the menu and you expect it to be opened immediately.
*I labored to find a Filipino equivalent since I found my sentence pretentious, but I couldn’t. 😛