I say Syrah, you say Shiraz….From South Eastern Australia, says the label, so by tradition Shiraz is the name, though it’s the same grape other areas of the universe call Syrah or Sirah—except for the Californians who “steal” the Aussie name to grab a little of the popularity of the down under version. It’s all so confusing…and then there’s the petites! But they’re a whole other story.
Anyway, the Mrs. bought this 1.5 liter bottle at THE STORE for $10.99, on sale from the normal $14.99. Definitely a cheapskate deal. Though we’ve had the kangaroo many times, in many varietals, this is our first try of the Penguin.
I poured some into a wide mouth, rocks style glass (what, no stem?) and immediately noticed an appealing, rich, grape smell. (imagine that-a wine that smells like grapes!) It’s a deep, dark purple in the glass, nearly opaque. Inviting. And it tastes wonderful! Fruit…grape (surprise)…Black cherry?… Raisin? A touch acidic, a teeny touch, but no bitterness, no chemistry set vapors. Had a glass while watching Jeopardy with the Mrs. who was having a Chardonnay (which we’ll discuss one of these days). Try some of this, I suggested, and passed her my glass. Mmmmm! was her comment. My son was texting, posting on Facebook, eating an enchilada, watching Jeopardy and drinking the same Chardonnay as the Mrs., so he never even heard me ask him to try it. Next time, maybe. After Final Jeopardy (we all got it right) I poured another glass-1/2 a glass actually- went to my desk to write this, and enjoy the color, the gentle aroma, and the delightful taste of the Little Penguin Shiraz.
This is a Cheapskate Fave, for sure. I’ll probably pick up some other Little Penguins while they’re on sale to compare. I’ve learned that just because I love one particular varietal from a producer, doesn’t necessarily mean the others will be as enjoyable, but it sure makes me more inclined to try ’em! The Little Penguin markets a Chardonnay, a Merlot, a Pinot Grigio, a Cabernet Suavignon, a Pinot Noir and 2 blends-Cab/Merlot, and Shiraz/Cab, though I don’t think THE STORE carries them all. But at this point, we know this for sure—the Little Penguin Shiraz demonstrates and validates the whole premise of these writings—that it’s nuts to spend $25 or $40 or $60 a bottle for wine, when for far, far less you can enjoy a few ounces of sensuality in a glass.