Lovely words, perfect to describe this South African Sweet Shiraz. I think I have a new favorite red wine!
My wine recommendation for the week is:
Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, 2010, approximately $10.99
This wine caught me by surprise. First the name Jam Jar, which invoked memories of my Babci (grandmother) making strawberry jam in the warm of June. Carefree days spent skipping through the fields chasing butterflies, bumblebees fluttering over sweet clover; evenings spent catching fireflies and eating fresh berry cobbler…you know….summer time. Even the label looks summery. Then, I tasted Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz….oh my…it was pure summer in a bottle!
The wine was bursting with sweet ripe berries-strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry. There was a slight spice along with the berry as it hit the palate, but quickly smoothed out to a soft berry finish. Because this is a sweeter wine, it does not need to be decanted, but does improve a tiny bit with aeration. Jam Jar is supposed to be served slightly chilled, but I found that as it warmed, the sweet berry flavor became more balanced. The decision to chill the wine will be based on personal taste, as well as the dish you serve Jam Jar with. If you have a savory or cheese dish, serve Jam Jar at room temperature-if you serve Jam Jar with dessert, serve chilled. The wine is semi-sweet, but not at all syrupy, and much lighter than a Beaujolais or a Lambrusco. I cannot say enough about this wine-it was delightful!
Jam Jar is a Cape Classics South African Shiraz, with grapes grown in Paarl, an area similar to the Rhone region of southeast France. The soil in Paarl is shale, with decomposed clay-perfect for sweeter grapes. The grapes are hand-picked and cold macerated for two days, before undergoing natural fermentation in stainless steel tanks. 30% of the wine is aged in oak for five months, which was surprising to me, as I tasted no oak or tannin. This is 100% Shiraz, not a varietal, with an alcohol content of 12%.
You can serve Jam Jar with your main course, but I recommend serving with fruity dishes, such as my Roast Pork With Apple Pan Gravy, or a savory, spicy dish, such as Chicken Enchiladas. As I mentioned above, this would be great with cheese dishes, as well as creamy desserts, such as New York Style Cheesecake. The days of summer are winding down, but you can relive them again with a bottle of Jam jar!
Julie is the Arizona-based writer & editor for A Little Bite of Life. She is an accomplished chef, kid wrangler, dachshund chaser, coffee/mojito/wine sipper, photographer, board game competitor & Google Plus expert.