Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz

Cost: Average price $15

Where buy now: Byerly’s Wines & Spirits, Minnetonka- $14.99 (Sale thru Apr. 14: buy one, get second for 1/2 price. That’s about $11/each!). Swirl, Afton

Grapes: Shiraz

Region: Barossa Valley, Australia

Vintage: 2008

Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz

Goddammit, I’m weak. Not in a “Helen Reddy would be ashamed” kind of way, I mean when it comes to wine. I recently received a bottle that was intended for sharing with some friends. “No problem”, I thought, “we’ll get together soon and imbibe.”

I received the bottle on Saturday. It lasted until… Tuesday. C’mon, can you blame me? I had to! For you, for the blog- it’s all in the name of research. Helping me, help you. Not buying it? That’s okay. I’m not selling it either.

So, on the level, this is another pick out of Byerly’s in Ridgedale by my new bud Rodney. He sent this along with my galpal after her first visit to his store, saying “You’re gonna love this.” When you’re told “You’re gonna love this”, that’s a pretty definitive statement. You’d better have the goods.

It’s Tuesday night, I just soldiered through a killer barre-fitness class at Align Pilates, and I was feeling great. So good I thought, “You deserve a glass of wine.” To the rack I went. I almost pulled out a Rioja, but I’m saving that baby for Honduran cuisine from my new fave, Catalina’s. The lil’ devil on my shoulder then whispered, “Oh, yeah, there IS the Oscar’s Shiraz,” To which the angel on my other shoulder retorted, “No, no, Lush, you mus’n’t! Wait but a few days, and you’ll savor it as intended.”

You know when you shouldn’t, but really, really have to? Twas the case with this bottle. Dio Mio- thank goodness I like to exercise!

Once I chose my path, I ran for a glass and unscrewed the top. I mean, it has a screw cap. It was begging me to get up in it.

Oh my- the aromas wafting out of the bottle! An earthy, dark berry fragrance seemed to sing out of the bottle. Oh, it looked so pretty in my glass. Hot damn! Clearly, I made the right decision. I figure, sin now, repent later.

On the nose as in my mouth, this Shiraz tastes of rich, plump blackberries. Those blackberries may have been touched by a little spice and then nestled with toasted vanilla. This wine was ever-so-slightly jammy, but not as much as a Zin. (Although Zin & Primitivo lovers, take note, as I think you’d dig this.) It is fruit forward but balanced, rich and beckons you to drink it all.

Typical of our Tuesday night fare, a Connie’s frozen pizza went in the oven. That’s right, it makes sense, exercise your heart out, then you get to drink wine and eat pizza. (Makes sense in my worldview.) So, my husband and I sat sipping, waiting for the pizza, both commenting how good it tasted. This enjoyment only improved alongside the “Natural’s Super Pizza” [actual name], the Italian sausage and roasted peppers upping the ante. If you are going to buy a frozen pizza, Connie’s pizza is the way to go. Not nearly as good as the original in Chicago, but freakin’ awesome. (Forgive me, perhaps not on par to some palates as a bar Heggie’s.)

To my “some friends”, and you know who you are: I love you. You should know that I did this because, well, I’m selfish and I wanted to drink it. I hope you understand, and appreciate my honesty. I promise at our next gathering, there will be more Shiraz, and it very well could be Oscar’s Shiraz. But then again, that may depend on how long the bottle spends at my house.