Many years ago, I fell in love with Australian Shiraz.

Although it’s genetically the same as French Shiraz or Syrah, the two styles couldn’t be further apart.

The French have always been superb at handling Shiraz at the top end, but mainly as a blending grape.

Shiraz in Australia is just so seductive with lashings of warm autumn fruits, hints of spice and pepper and quite often a nod to polished leather.

The golden age for me was the 80’s and 90’s when they arrived on mass in the UK but in early 2000 far too many of the vineyards became focussed on medals and making distinctive versions of the grape.

While in one or two cases it resulted in some world beating wines, Aussie Shiraz lost a bit of it’s fun.

Sadly, there hasn’t been a seismic shift in style, or

ambition. One thing that lockdown has made me do is seek nostalgia and I found it in spades in the simple, fruity, unchallenging embrace of a grape and a country; Australian Shiraz is my wine style of the pandemic!

Larry Cherubino ‘Ad Hoc’ Shiraz

A rich earthy nose with heaps of black fruits, soft juicy tannins and a hint of spice on the palate. A serious but fun shiraz

Pop Wines Glasgow £16.50

The Southerly Shiraz

Warm earthy blackcurrant fruits, damsons and a hint of chocolate all wrapped up in a silky palate with just a touch of white pepper. Seriously folks this is the best tenner you will ever spend!

Corney & Barrow, Ayr £10.95