Are you ever stumped when it comes to wine varieties? Do you know the difference between Syrah Vs Shiraz Wine? In this post, we’ll break down the key differences between these two popular wines. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to order either one with confidence!
Syrah and Shiraz Wines
1). What is Syrah wine?
Syrah is a dark-skinned red wine grape variety grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce full-bodied red wines. It is believed to have originated in the northern Rhône region of France, where it is still widely planted today. Syrah boasts intense aromas and flavors, including notes of blackberry, pepper, licorice, and bacon fat.
2). What is Shiraz wine?
Shiraz is a dark-skinned red wine grape variety originating from Iran. The original name for this variety remains unknown; however it has long been known by its French synonym “Syrah” since being introduced to Europe in the 18th century.
Shiraz produces bolder wines than Syrah which often showcase ripe berry fruit characters along with hints of black pepper, licorice, and herbs. It is usually blended with other varieties to produce a more balanced wine.
Origin of Syrah Vs Shiraz Wine
Syrah and Shiraz is almost the same. Both are believed to have originated from a region in south-eastern France called Rhone Valley. Syrah is thought to be planted initially in the northern part of the valley, while Shiraz was said to be grown initially in the southern end.
Both types of grapes are known for their deep colors, robust flavors and aromas. However, there is a slight difference between them when it comes to characteristics. Generally speaking, Syrah has predominantly blackberry and dark fruit flavors with undertones of pepper, spice and herbaceous notes.
On the other hand, Shiraz tends to have more intense aromatics such as black pepper and licorice along with fruity notes like raspberry jam or blackberry.
In terms of production, Syrah is mostly associated with French regions like Rhone and Languedoc Roussillon, while Shiraz is mainly grown in Australia and South Africa. The Australian varietal is also known to have a higher alcohol content compared to the French version.
Similarities between Syrah Vs Shiraz Wine
Both Syrah and Shiraz wines have a rich, full-bodied flavor profile with flavors of dark fruit such as blackberry or plum jam and hints of spice like pepper or licorice. Syrah is typically more earthy and tannic with notes of leather and tobacco while Shiraz tends to be fruitier with aromas of ripe berries, dark chocolate or mocha.
The differences in flavor become more apparent when one compares New World (Australia/ America) vs Old World (France/Italy) styles.
Syrah and Shiraz also share many features in terms of their alcohol content and methodology for production. Both varietals can reach high alcohol levels, with Syrah often reaching 15% or higher while Shiraz typically maxes out at 14%. They are both produced using traditional methods such as barrel aging and long fermentation periods that can last up to 6 months.
Despite the similarities between them, it’s important to note that Syrah and Shiraz grapes are not the same varieties. While they are related, the two have distinct characteristics that make them unique from one another.
Comparison of Syrah Vs Shiraz Wine Characteristics
Taste and Aroma
Syrah and Shiraz grape varieties have similar tastes and aromas. While Syrah tends to produce a dry, peppery or tobacco-like flavor with notes of plum, blackberry and leather, Shiraz offers a spicy intensity with hints of dark fruit such as blackberry, blueberry and dried herbs. Both varietals also create wines that feature earthy tones like smoke, graphite and truffle.
Color and Texture
Syrah and Shiraz wines differ slightly in color. Syrah tends to be a deep, dark purple with garnet hues while Shiraz is a deep violet-plum shade. Syrah has an overall velvety texture which can often mask its high tannin content, while Shiraz offers a smooth, even mouthfeel without being too astringent.
Syrah and Shiraz wines typically have a similar alcohol content, ranging from 12.5 to 15 percent ABV. However, some winemakers are creating higher-alcohol variants of both varietals, with some Syrahs reaching up to 18 percent ABV and some Shiraz styles reaching up to 20 percent ABV.
Popularity: Syrah Vs Shiraz Wine
Where are they Grown?
Syrah is a variety of grape that originated in France, and it is widely grown throughout Europe. It has become popular in the New World as well; particularly in Australia where it is known as Shiraz. In California, Syrah is one of the most popular varieties planted.
Shiraz on the other hand is primarily found in Australia, with South Africa and California also producing small amounts. The Australian Shiraz generally produces more fruit-forward wines while the French Syrah tends to be more earthy and tannic.
How do they Differ in Winemaking?
In the winemaking process, Syrah and Shiraz have some distinct differences. French Syrah tends to be made using traditional winemaking practices such as open-top fermenters and long maceration times to extract more tannins from the grape skins. Australian Shiraz often employs a more modern approach with stainless steel tanks, shorter fermentation periods and oak aging.
The two wines can also differ in terms of alcohol levels; Shiraz is usually higher in alcohol than Syrah due to warmer growing conditions in Australia, while French Syrah typically has lower alcohol levels because of cooler temperatures during ripening.
Finally, when it comes to tasting notes, Australian Shiraz typically showcases ripe berries, spices and pepper while French Syrah offers more of a smoky, meaty and leathery flavor profile.
Which one is the Best?
When it comes to Syrah vs Shiraz wine, there is no definitive answer as this is largely a matter of personal preference. Both varietals offer unique flavor profiles and can be enjoyed in different styles depending on how they are produced.
Ultimately, the best option will depend on your individual taste preferences. If you’re looking for intense flavors with bold tannins, then Syrah may be your ideal choice. Alternatively, if you prefer a fruit-forward wine with low acidity and high alcohol content then Shiraz could be the better option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions | Syrah Vs Shiraz Wine
1. What is the difference between Syrah and Shiraz?
Syrah and Shiraz are two distinct varieties of red wine grapes that both produce full-bodied wines with spicy notes. The main differences between them lie in their origin, flavor profiles, and winemaking styles.
Syrah originated in France’s Rhône Valley and produces wines with a dark color, intense tannins, blackberry flavors, and pepper aromas. Australian Shiraz developed from a French-American hybrid grape called Hermitage and has more berry fruit flavors such as blackcurrant or raspberry along with savory notes like herbs or bacon fat.
2. Are Syrah and Shiraz the same grape?
No, Syrah and Shiraz are different varieties of grape. The two grapes were likely related at one point since they both have an ancestry in Hermitage, but over the centuries, their characteristics have diverged significantly.
3. What regions produce Syrah?
Syrah is mostly grown in France’s Rhône Valley as well as other parts of the country such as Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence. It has also gained popularity in the United States and can be found in California, Washington State, Oregon, New York, Virginia, Texas and more recently Colorado.
4. What regions produce Shiraz?
Shiraz was developed from a hybrid grape called Hermitage, and gained popularity in Australia. Now, the grape is grown widely in other regions such as California, South Africa, Chile, Spain, New Zealand and more recently Argentina.
5. What are some of the food pairings for Syrah?
Syrah pairs well with a variety of roasted or grilled meats such as beef tenderloin or lamb chops. It also goes well with dishes that have earthy flavors like mushrooms or eggplant as well as spicy foods like Thai curries or Mexican mole sauce.
6. What are some of the food pairings for Shiraz?
Shiraz has bold tannins and fruit-forward flavors that make it ideal for pairing with intense flavors such as charcuterie platters, braised short ribs, or strong cheeses like blue cheese. It also pairs well with barbecue dishes and tomato-based stews.
7. What is the ideal serving temperature for Syrah and Shiraz?
For both Syrah and Shiraz, the ideal serving temperature is between 55°F to 65°F (13°C to 18°C). Serving at this temperature will help bring out some of the flavors that these wines have to offer. However, if you find the wine too warm or cold, feel free to adjust accordingly depending on your preference.
The Bottom Lines
If you are looking for a big, bold wine to pair with a steak dinner, then a Syrah is the way to go. If you are looking for a fruitier wine that would be perfect for an outdoor BBQ, then reach for a Shiraz. Now that you know the difference between Syrah Vs Shiraz wine, be sure to pick up a bottle (or two!) of your favorite the next time you are at the store. Cheers!