Shiraz & Syrah... separated at birth

Tonight was another monthly Wine & Dine event with my What's Cookin Chicago group. We focused on Shiraz/Syrah wines over a potluck of Mexican inspired dishes. Here's a little info on Shiraz/Syrah I picked up from Wikipedia and some other sources online:

Shiraz or Syrah is a variety of grape used in wine. It is called Syrah in France, Argentina, Chile, and most of the United States. In South Africa, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand it is known as Shiraz.

The name of the grape Shiraz was taken from that of the city of Shiraz in Iran, near where the process of wine making possibly originated 7000 years ago. It is believed that the Syrah/Shiraz was brought into southern France by a returning crusader, Guy De'Sterimberg. He became a hermit and developed a vineyard on a steep hill where he lived in the Rhône River Valley. It became known as the Hermitage.

For this event, I provided a nice line up of Syrah & Shiraz wines from different regions of the world so that my members can taste, smell and see the differences between them. I also provided everyone with a Syrah/Shiraz primer on these wines along with some information on the wine's "legs," the terms "corked" & "cooked" wines, and how to properly taste a wine.

Here are pics of the wines that were featured along with the dishes everyone made:

Cote du Rhone (northern France) Syrah

Languedoc (southern France) Syrah

South African Shiraz

Western Australia Shiraz

Chilean Shiraz
California (Santa Barbara) Syrah
Simple trio of goat cheese, crackers & fruit
Nacho Skillet by Art
Onion Tart by Yumi
Brown Sugar Braised Pork w/Plantains & Yellow Peppers
by Theresa

Taco Salad Platter by Abbie
Green Chile Tamale Bake by John
Mexican Dorito Casserole by Michele
Chicken, Cilantro & Black Bean Quesadillas by Louis
Fresh Mexican Salad by Linda

Kahlua Double Nut Brownies by SusanFlan by Linda

Rice Pudding by Dani
Tres Leches Cake w/Meringue Topping & Strawberries by Harvey