Monday, January 25, 2010

A Visit to the Theatre and a Glass of Shiraz

“525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?” The day after I still have a smile on my face as I hum and sometimes belt out the lyrics to Rent. Yesterday, three great friends and I headed to Toronto to take a chance of getting “student rush tickets” for the Broadway tour of Rent. After waiting in line for 45 minutes, we headed to the Eaton's Centre for lunch with smiles on our faces and four orchestra seat tickets in our hands.

As we settled into our table at Mr. Green Jeans we dove into the topic of what wine goes best with Rent? A general consensus was reached: a cheap, nondescript, red wine drank from a paper bag. Hmmm, might be a little difficult in a nice restaurant with a wine list. Well, at least we have narrowed it down to red. After the perusing the menu I decided to go with a Shiraz.

When my glass of Shiraz arrived we began to discuss the wine. “Wow, it's a really deep colour,” one friend comment. As I stuck my nose in the glass and took a whiff, chestnuts filled my nasal passage or what I guessed was chestnuts.

Today I set out to actually become pretentious. I would find out why Shiraz is such a deep colour and if it really does taste like chestnuts. I learned that Shiraz can also be called Syrah, which clears up a huge misunderstanding my brain. The reason it is so dark? Obviously, because it is made from a dark skinned grape. More importantly, Shiraz is a full to medium bodied wine with lots of tannins. Translation: lots of taste. And the tannins (a chemical substance found in planets) are responsible for the red wine headache and that sometimes bitter taste. According to, flavours of black cherry, blackberry, plum, black pepper, clove, licorice, dark chocolate and smoked meat can be found. I am sticking with chestnuts; who are these “About” people anyways?

My research today has left me feeling a little more sophisticated and capable of discussing Shiraz with a bit of confidence. Although, I was a little disappointed to discover that chicken fingers was not a food pairing of choice...


  1. Fabulous. Great post and you could fool me into believing you're pretentious, especially with your new vocabulary. Way to go friend.

  2. loved the ending where you actually explain the wine! And as far as I'm concerned, chicken fingers and a glass of shiraz will always be a wonderful combination!

  3. Hey Amanda, Great post! I love the passion.I am also a big fan of shiraz as well as syrah. But just to clarify, Shiraz and Syrah are completly different wines made with the same grape. Shyraz is Australian and Syrah is French. Shyraz is a medium bodied wine with loads of spice and pepper. Syrah is a full bodied wine with a lot more body and complexity. Hope, the inforamtion helped.

    Can't wait to read your next post!

  4. Hey, Kevin
    I went back and did a bit more fact checking. You are right Shiraz and Syrah are made from the same grape. Shiraz comes from Australia and Syrah comes from other places that grow the Shiraz grape. However, California has started calling their Syrah, Shiraz as a marketing ploy. Same grape different location. It is like how in Canada we produce Chardonnay and so do other countries. Each region adds it's own taste but they are the same wine. This website give a good explanation: