The heartiness and deep, dark warmth of beef demand a full-bodied red that can muscle up beside it. Peppery, blackberry-rich shiraz also can handle the heat from peppers, chili powder, or Tabasco sauce.
2007 Nederburg Shiraz (South Africa, $9) Smoky, oaky, and loaded with black fruit. It's also full-bodied and very drinkable.
2006 Wakefield Shiraz (Australia, $14) Brimming with fleshy dark berries and plums
SPLURGE: 2002 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz (Australia, $40) A delicious, mouthwatering number with smoky black-fruit aromas (pictured)