Australian Shiraz and the point of diminishing returns

December 31, 2006

This year for new years eve instead of doing the same old tired Champagne (which I hate anyway) I decided to buy a nice bottle of wine. I like Australian Shiraz and have found a few really good wines for $10 per bottle or less that I drink fairly regularly. So I went to a local wine shop and got a recommendation for a really good bottle of Shiraz. The bottle cost $45 and it is definitely good – but is it 4 times as good as the $10 bottles I drink regularly? No.

I’ve found this trend quite a bit with Shiraz. Less than $10 is usually bad news (although check out JackaRoo at Trader Joe’s – $3.99 a bottle so get a case), some good ones at $10/bottle, a few really nice ones at $15-$20/bottle – but above that, no substantial increase in quality.

Now I certainly can’t say I’ve tried everything and I wouldn’t call myself a sophisticated wine connoisseur, but so far in all the bottles of Shiraz I’ve tried, I just haven’t found a wine above $20 that just knocks my socks off. Maybe that’s just the way Shiraz is. Someone who knows more about wine can let me know. But until further notice, $20 is the most I plan on spending for a bottle of Australian Shiraz.

BTW, if you’re interested, here are some great bottles for $10 or less:

  • Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz ($10)
  • Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Shiraz ($10)
  • Lindemans Reserve Shiraz ($9)
  • JackaRoo Shiraz ($4 at Trader Joe’s)

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