Cabernet and Shiraz are varieties of grapes that are used to make many types of wines. These two grape varieties are popular worldwide, and while there are some similarities between them, there are also differences. Therefore, wine enthusiasts are always curious about the differences between Shiraz and Cabernet wines to determine which one is the best.

However, more often than not, people cannot determine which wine variety is the best because they both have a unique flavor. It usually comes down to the type of wine most people prefer, and they make their decision based on that. Wine drinkers usually like debating over flavors and tannings, but the taste of the wine is always the deciding factor.

Shiraz vs Cabernet

Differences between Shiraz and Cabernet

Shiraz wine is more commonly consumed in the Southern parts of Australia in the Barossa Valle; Cabernet, on the other hand, is typically consumed in the South-Eastern parts of Australia, in places like Coonawarra.

The taste of the two wine varieties varies; Shiraz has a smoky and meaty flavor, Cabernet has a fruity flavor of mint and blackberry. In addition, Shiraz typically has a plate that is rich mild, Cabernet has a strong upfront, but the plate is dull mild.

Background

wine Background

Many people pick Cabernet rather than Shiraz because it is more popular. However, Cabernet is also easily available in wine stores, and many cabernet wines are also sold at restaurants. While Cabernet does have a good taste, Shiraz offers a unique experience, and the more you try different wines, the stronger your taste buds will get.

Shiraz

The pronunciation of the word Shiraz is shee-razz; this is important because many people confuse this wine with Syrah, which is pronounced sear-ah. Even though Shiraz is gaining popularity among wine drinkers and enthusiasts, it is still not as popular as other wine varieties, so it has some mystery surrounding it.

.On the other hand, the Shiraz grapes were first grown in France, where they were called Syrah. Later, when Australia imported the grapes, they started calling the grapes Shiraz. Despite the fact that both grape species produce the same type of wine, there are subtle differences. For example, Shiraz grapes are a bit more ripe, lush and fruitier than Syrah.

Cabernet

The pronunciation of Cabernet is kab-er-nay, and the pronunciation of Cabernet Sauvignon is kab-er-nay saw-vin-yawn, while people may use the two terms interchangeably, they are the same thing. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are widely grown worldwide and produce high-quality American Red Wines.

Cabernet wine is also known as king among red wines and has a rich history. Although first much of its history was a mystery, it all changed in 1996, when facts related to its historical background were revealed. Although Cabernet Sauvignon originated in the 17th century, it was originally a combination of two grape varieties: Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Shiraz and Cabernet Grapes

Shiraz and Cabernet Grapes

Shiraz

It is thought that Shiraz is a result of two varietal wines. Shiraz was a result of cross-breeding between two grape species. Dureza, a red grape, was crossed with Mondeuse Blanc, a white grape, to create Shiraz. Interestingly, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanc are nowhere near as popular as Shiraz and are rarely used to make wine.

The size of the Shiraz grape is smaller than other grapes and its shape is often round. The color of the grapes is dark, usually black. Even though Shiraz is a sturdy species of grape, weather hazards can still significantly damage it.

Cabernet

Cabernet Sauvignon is a species of red grape and has thick skin. As a result, this grape has a sturdy vine that can withstand harsh conditions. The reason why Cabernet grapes are so popular worldwide is because of their sturdiness. Cabernet grapes can be grown easily and require little maintenance.

The color of Cabernet Sauvignon is usually dark green. Cabernet grapes are also the result of a cross, as they were created by crossing Cabernet France, a red grape species, with Sauvignon Blanc, a white grape species. Like Shiraz, Cabernet is more popular and widely used than its parents.

Differences

Size: The size of the Shiraz grapes is small; but it is still larger than Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Color: The two grape species have a dark tone, but Shiraz has a darker coloring.

Sturdiness: Both grapes spaces are resistant, but Cabernet Savignon grapes are sturdier and capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions.

Regions

wine regions

Shiraz Grapes

Shiraz grapes originated in France and were known as Syrah. The consensus is that Shiraz grapes were vastly grown in France, in a region called Northern Rhone. Later, the Syrah name was replaced, as the Australians imported the grapes from France and started calling in Shiraz.

The coastal regions of Australia provided great growing conditions for the grapes, as the region had an overall stable climate. The Shiraz grapes are so popular in Australia that they make up more than 40 % of the grapes grown in the country. Shiraz is usually grown in picturesque places, such as steep hillsides.

Other regions that are known for growing Shiraz are:

  • Aconcagua, Chile
  • Napa Valley, United States
  • Tuscany, Italy

Cabernet Grapes

Cabernet grapes were first grown in a region of France called Bordeaux, and due to their sturdiness and durability, they immediately became popular among the wine-makers. Soon, the grapes were being exported to different countries such as the United States. Before the 1990s, Cabernet grapes were the most widely grown variety of grapes.

Different regions in countries like the United States, New Zealand, Chile, and Australia produce high-quality Cabernet grapes used to make various types of wines.  

Summing it up

People like to drink different types of wines, and their food pairing also varies. However, it is also essential to know where your wine came from. This guide will help you understand the major differences between Shiraz and Cabernet wines and grapes so that you can easily decide which one is better. To serve Cabernet and Shiraz wines, refrigerate the wine for 25 minutes. The best-serving temperature is usually between 60 to 66 Fahrenheit or 16 to 18 Degrees Celsius.

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