Legend has it that shiraz originally came from ancient Persia. Sadly, present-day Iran has outlawed the production of wine. So regardless of its true origins, the much heralded grape has no home there. My first experiences with wines made from the syrah/shiraz grape were rather infamous. Nasty, tight, low-end Croze Hermitage, from France’s Northern Cotes Du Rhone do not do the grape justice. In the late-90′s, I sumbled upon Australia’s Giant Shiraz. D’arenberg. Henry’s Drive. Jim Barry. The list is seemingly endless. Spicy, robust, long-lived and full-bodied, these not-so-gentle-giants will change the way that you think about wine. Not for the faint of heart, these masculine wines pair favorably with rich, spicy lamb and game dishes. All peppery meat dishes fare well alongside these monsters, with berry-fruited +/or mint-scented sides. Keep your eyes peeled for deals on two giant shiraz, Barossa Valley’s Hazyblur and Killibinbin from Langhorne Creek. These 90+ rated wines would be a worthy addition to any cellar.