Originally Posted by norgeskog
Thanks DC, I am not real fond of Chianti, I prefer a dryer wine. But since it was a gift, I will try it.
Chiantis are considered dry. I love 'em.
Anyway, asking what Shiraz tastes like is sorta like asking what meat tastes like. The answer is ... it depends.
Shiraz is a type of grape. It's called Syrah most everwhere but Australia. So if it's called Shiraz, it probably came from down under. It's the most widly planted grape there.
What a bottle of wine tastes like is a function of both the grape itself AND what the vinter does with the grape. Where the grapes are grown, when and how it's picked, fermented, how it's aged and for how long, etc. etc. have much to do with how it tastes.
For example, many producers use oak casks or oak chips in the fermentation or aging process. Others use stainless. A wine made from the a Shiraz that is aged in oak will taste entirely different than one aged in stainless. But they will both be on the shelf labeled "Shiraz" (in most places besides Europe, wines bear "varietal" names, in other words, they are named for the grape that they are made from, e.g. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Pinot Gris. In Europe, wines are usually named not after the grape they are made from but after their geographic origin, e.g. Chablis, Burgandy, Cotes du Rhone, Chianti).
That said, the Sangiovese grapes that make up the lions share of Chiantis is lighter in body than Syrah grapes, which are dark and very fruity. So IMO I'd not compare Syrah/Shiraz to Chianti, but more to Merlot. In fact, it's often mixed with Merlot graps (and other grapes) to make table wines.
But the real answer is it depends ... You will have to taste it and see. But they age well so you dont need to rush. Also, remember to let it breath after you open it.