Written by
Alan Boatright

Shiraz vs Syrah

In the wine industry, Syrah and Shiraz are both famous red wines made from the same grape variety. A lot of people think that these wines are the same since they come from the same grape. However, Syrah and Shiraz are different from each other. 

People get confused because it is difficult to tell the difference between Syrah and Shiraz red wines, even for the experts. Below you will find the key differences between these two popular wines based on their taste, style, etc.

contrast between Shiraz vs Syrah wines

So, let us now find out what sets Shiraz apart from Syrah and help you decide which one you should drink. 

Overview 

Before going into the differences, look at this quick overview of Syrah and Shiraz to learn about both the wines. 

Shiraz

Shiraz

Shiraz is a fruity wine that contains residual sugar to add a sweet flavor. This drink came into existence in Australia in 1831 and was introduced by James Busby. Shiraz is another name for the Syrah grape, used in South Africa and Australia. 

In the past, a wine manufactured in or around the city of Shiraz in Persia was known as Shiraz. However, the modern Shiraz grape, which originated in France, is like the Syrah Grape but has no relation to the city.

Shiraz mainly comes from the warmer climates such as Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, and McLaren Vale in Southern Australia. This wine is made from red-skinned grapes that give it a deep ruby red to purple hue color. 

The ripe styles of this wine have higher alcohol by volume due to the longer hang time on the vines. Due to this, it contains higher calories than Syrah, with around 15% alcohol having 175 calories. And since Shiraz has a touch of residual sugar, the calories and carbohydrate content in this wine is more.      

Syrah 

Syrah

Syrah belongs to the Rhône Valley in Southern France. It is an aromatic, full-bodied wine that has dark fruit and spice flavors. Produced with a higher tannins level than Shiraz, this wine is more enjoyable when stored for at least ten years in the bottle. 

Syrah is one of the most popular French wines enjoyed at an affordable price rate. Most Syrah wines have an alcohol level of 13% to 14%. But you may find a 14.5% to 15.5% alcohol by volume in some types of Syrah wine that are grown in a warmer climate. 

Moreover, Syrah is usually dry and has little to no sugar. A five-ounce serving of this wine contains 125 calories, while the 750ml bottle has over 600 calories. 

Syrah comes in a wide range of flavors such as smoke, bacon, white & black pepper, floral violet, and red & black fruits. Its taste is quite elegant and lean as opposed to Shiraz which is a fruit-drive wine.      

Key Differences Between Shiraz and Syrah 

Key Differences Between Shiraz and Syrah

Now that you have little information on Syrah and Shiraz wines, it is time to look at their key differences. Other than the grape name, these two red wines are not at all the same. The following factors will help you understand how both these wines are different from each other and which one will suit your taste.

Taste

Syrah is a dry, full-bodied wine with medium to high alcohol by volume between 13-14%. It is opaque and has brisk acidity along with firm tannins. You can find various flavors in this wine, such as red & black fruits, white & black pepper, herbs, bacon, smoke, and floral violet. 

Syrah also comes in vanilla and baking spice flavors when the grape is aged in oak. Usually, it has an elegant, savory taste. 

On the other hand, Shiraz is a full-bodied, bold red wine admired by a lot of wine drinkers. This wine, like Syrah, is opaque with ripe tannins and has a ruby-purple color. It contains jammy fruit flavors such as blueberry or blackberry. 

Moreover, you can also find smoked meat flavors of this wine like bacon and beef jerky. All these variants tend to have higher alcohol levels between 14-15.5%. 

Basically, Syrah is a fruit-resistant wine, whereas Shiraz comes in different fruit flavors and is syrupy in nature. 

Food Pairings

Food Pairings

Wines taste better when you pair them with a suitable food item. Syrah and Shiraz go with different types of food pairings due to their varying tasting notes and style.  

The bold flavors of Syrah wine make a great pair with big food flavors. If you do not want to change the French-style of this wine, you add herbs, such as lavender or thyme, to your meat or vegetable dishes. 

You can also pair Syrah wine with roasted lamb and potatoes to keep up with the fruity notes of the wine. 

On the other hand, with Shiraz wine made in Australia, you can have a plate of shrimps to enhance the taste. Grilled, smoky seafood are also excellent food pairings for this drink.  

If you are eating grilled chicken, add peppery spiced barbeque sauce on the chicken while it’s on the grill. As an alternative, you can also make a marinade of garlic, pepper, olive oil, and vegetables such as onions and green peppers. In case you want to try something new, use anise and clove to embellish the dark spice and chocolate flavors of this drink.    

Final Verdict – Shiraz vs Syrah

Even though winemakers use the same grape variety to make Shiraz and Syrah, both wines are a lot different from one another. 

The soil, climate, and cultivation of Syrah and Shiraz grape make both these wines unalike. Syrah is grown in cooler climates in France that gives the wine a smokey, plum-like flavor. Shiraz, however, is produced in warmer temperatures which is why the wine has jammy flavors. 

If you like fruity flavors in your wine, you should go with the Australian wine, Shiraz. However, if you do not want a jammy-flavored wine, Syrah would be the right choice for you.  Tasting a glass of wine is the only way to tell whether it is good for you or not. In case you are not sure about your taste, try both the wines and decide which one suits you better.

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