The Liquor Cabinet

The Pro Verdict: the 10 Best Shiraz $20 and Under

Shanteh Wale is a head sommelier, a wine show judge and a lover of a fine drop. She gives her expert rundown on the most delicious – and affordable – Australian shiraz wines.

Shiraz under $10

Shiraz is the most established wine variety in Australia, and one of the most beloved. The demand for this grape variety is undeniable and it makes a lot of sense for how well the variety grows in our climate and across our landscape. Shiraz can present in many guises, from aromatic and ethereal to brooding and bold. It’s a red wine that can work with almost any cuisine and suit an array of palates. I love shiraz because it’s such a crowd-pleaser; you can’t go wrong bringing bottle to any occasion.


I look for freshness of black and red fruit and that smooth medium body that keeps you wanting another glass. Here’s my pick of the 10 best shiraz wines for $20 or less.

Morello cherry preserve and dark black plums. The vine age of the wine shows such intensity of pure fruit. Vanilla bean and hot cocoa sweetness are elevated by bright acidity with a velvet-like mouthfeel. This wine punches above its weight. Buy a sixpack.

Wild strawberries, raspberry tart and black tea. Red figs and tanned leather, an exotic mix of vibrant fruit and oak complexity. This is the kind of shiraz that shows why McLaren Vale is a superstar. Elegance and balance. A wine for drinking on its own or with a beautifully prepared duck breast. Get fancy.

The power of Barossa fruit is immediate in this wine. If you are after the classic Barossa generosity, look no further. Red cherry, raspberry compote and black pepper spice with hints of dark chocolate shavings. A powerful wine with a strong character. Certainty not a pushover. Grab some dark chocolate and a blanket by the fire.

Sweet and perfectly ripe red cherries and raspberries, this wine conjures memories of Lifesavers Blackcurrant Pastilles. Remember them? It is full of concentrated fruit and a generous amount of vanilla bean and nutmeg. A refreshing lift of acid lends way to a smooth finish on the palate.

Fragrant violets, Ribena and kirsch, some Christmas spices like cinnamon and clove and a nice dry finish. A well-made shiraz with lots of potential, a crowd-pleaser.

Dominated by red fruits, strawberry and pomegranate. On the lighter to medium side with lovely lifting acidity, a great bottle for catching up with friends over cured meats, soft cheeses and fruit platter.

Blackberry and blackcurrants with wild thyme and fresh sage that carries through on the palate. There is cassis and Darrell Lea soft licorice elements firmly supported by dry tannins. A gamey lamb roast with rosemary from the garden would be very happy together. A bold shiraz.

A shiraz that reminds me of smelling red cordial as a child, and just as alluring. Pretty red florals on the nose and juicy blood plum freshness on the palate. The wine finishes with more concentration than anticipated for all its leading red berry basket aromas.

Dried red cherries and red currant followed by hints of tobacco and cigar box. A sappy and rhubarb-like fruit character on the palate. Soft and supple on the finish. This is your spaghetti bolognaise wine and don’t forget the garlic and herb bread.

Plenty of black cherries and hints of black olive, this wine brings cracked black pepper spice. A savoury style shiraz for any dish utilising tomato-based stews. A vegan-friendly wine, why not take the cue and make a vegetarian casserole? Happy planet, happy life.

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