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Exploring the World of Shiraz and Syrah

Let’s get the most important part out of the way first: yes, Shiraz and Syrah are the same exact grape variety. This fact can cause quite a bit of confusion, but once you realize that, the rest is pretty straightforward. Ok, let’s take a more in-depth look into this wine style.

Are Shiraz and Syrah the same thing?

Yep, they’re technically made from the same grape, but the name—Syrah or Shiraz—can occasionally offer an indication as to what style the wine is. Keep reading to find out how.

What kind of wine is Shiraz?

Shiraz is any wine made from the grape variety of the same name. People often ask what Shiraz wine is? Or what is Syrah wine? The answer is simple: they’re the same thing.

Generally, when the grape is grown in Australia, it’s called Shiraz. When it’s grown in France, it goes by the name Syrah. Everywhere else, the decision of what to call the wine is often based on whether it’s produced in an Australian style (big, bold, powerful, with lots of black fruit) or in a French one (spicy, meaty, and mineral, with more restrained black and red berry and cherry fruit). But Shiraz, Shiraz wine, Syrah, and Syrah wine all refer to wine crafted from the same grape variety.

Where does Shiraz come from?

The Shiraz grape, or the Syrah grape, can be grown anywhere in the world where the weather and soil conditions are appropriate for it. Generally, cooler regions result in producing a spicier type of Shiraz, whereas hotter regions produce bigger, richer wines.

How is Shiraz made?

Shiraz is made like every other wine: the grapes are harvested, usually selected for quality, and crushed. The juice is then fermented into wine. However, sparkling Shiraz is given an extra winemaking step where it’s put through a secondary fermentation that results in carbon dioxide dissolving into the wine, making it fizzy.

What is the proper way to serve Shiraz?

As with all red wine, it shouldn’t be served chilled (around 60-65°), but 15 minutes in the fridge before serving the wine will tend to make the fruit seem a bit fresher.

The proper glass for Shiraz or Syrah is a standard red wine glass. This also goes for blends like Shiraz Cabernet and Grenache Syrah. Basically, all Shiraz red wine, and related red blends, should be served this way.

Is Shiraz dry or sweet?

Shiraz can be made in both dry and sweet styles, so it depends on the particular bottling. However, many Australian Shiraz bottles taste a bit sweet due to the ripeness of the fruit and occasionally elevated alcohol content, not because of additional sugar in the wine itself.

Is Shiraz dry red wine?

Yes, it can be. But Shiraz can also be sweet red wine, rosé wine, and sparkling wine, too.

What does a Syrah wine taste like?

Syrah made in the French style tends to have notes of spice, mineral, meat, and black and red berry fruit, as well as cherries. But again, this depends on a variety of factors such as who the producer is, where the grapes are grown, and how the wine is made.

What are popular brands of Syrah?

There are so many! But no discussion of Australian Shiraz is complete without mention of Yellow Tail Shiraz, and no review of French Syrah is complete without mention of the great appellations of the Northern Rhone Valley, like Cornas, St.-Joseph, Hermitage, and more. Syrah is also typically an essential part of the blend in delicious wines labeled Côtes du Rhône.

Some of the most popular brands of Shiraz or Syrah we carry include:

Browse our full selection of Shiraz and Syrah wine online or check out our selection of highly-rated Shiraz and Syrah wine for a great new wine to try this week!

Want to learn more about Shiraz and Syrah wine?

Visit our Guide to Shiraz and Syrah wine to learn more about wine made from Shiraz and Syrah.