What is Syrah / Shiraz 

Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a red wine grape variety that is grown in many regions around the world. It is known for producing wines that are full-bodied, with high tannins and flavors of black pepper, dark fruit, and spices. Syrah is often blended with other grape varieties to add depth, complexity, and structure to the wine.

How to pronounce Syrah and Shiraz

Syrah is pronounced “sear-rah” with the emphasis on the first syllable

Shiraz is pronounced “she-razz” with the emphasis on the second syllable

What is Syrah also known as

Syrah is also known as Shiraz. The name “Syrah” is used primarily in France, while the name “Shiraz” is used primarily in Australia and other parts of the world. The grape variety is the same, but the wines produced from it can have different characteristics depending on the region, terroir, and winemaking methods.

What does Syrah taste like

Taste profile

Dry, Full Body,Medium-high Tannins, Medium Acidity, 13.5–15% ABV

Primary Flavours

Blueberry, Black Plum, Milk Chocolate, Tobacco, Green Peppercorn

Storage & Handling

Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape variety, but they can have different characteristics depending on where they are grown and how they are made. To properly store and handle Syrah/Shiraz wine, it is best to:

Keep the wine in a cool, dark place. The ideal temperature range for storing wine is between 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Store the wine on its side, to keep the cork moist and prevent air from entering the bottle.

Avoid exposing the wine to vibration or fluctuations in temperature.

For long-term storage, it is best to store the wine in a wine cellar or wine fridge.

If you plan on drinking the wine soon after purchasing it, it is best to let it sit for at least a few hours before serving to allow the wine to come to the right temperature and open up.

If you decant the wine, do it an hour before serving.

Always hold the wine glass by the stem to prevent your hand from warming up the wine.

Food Pairing

What do you pair with Syrah/Shiraz Wine

As a sommelier, I would recommend pairing Syrah and Shiraz wines with a variety of different dishes depending on the specific characteristics of the wine. According to the web search results provided, here are a few pairing suggestions for Syrah and Shiraz wines:

For a bold and spicy Syrah or Shiraz, consider pairing it with a ribeye steak. The high acidity and spiciness of the wine can complement the rich flavor and texture of the steak. A cabernet sauvignon is also a great choice for a steak pairing.

To pair with braised beef with a juicy and aromatic sauce, a massive Syrah wine is recommended. The wine also pairs well with strong sausages and game meats such as hare, roe deer, or grouse. Shiraz can also be paired with chocolate pudding if sugar is used sparingly during preparation.

Syrah or Shiraz, Shiraz-Grenache blends, Viognier, Beaujolais Cru (Gamay) and German Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) are considered to be a good pairing for haggis.

For dishes like oven-roasted turkey basted with butter or a roasted ham cooked in its own fat and served with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, collard greens and cheesy mac, a Syrah or Shiraz can balance the richness of the dish.

Syrah and Shiraz are typically considered quite ageworthy. Old World versions are leaner, emphasizing a savory character, while hot climates generally yield wines with riper, bolder fruit. Old world versions of Syrah and Shiraz can be paired with rich meats and game dishes, while the new world version can be paired with spicy meat dishes, barbeque and strong cheese.

It is also important to note that the specific characteristics of a Syrah or Shiraz wine will depend on where it is grown and how it is made, so it is always best to taste the wine and consider its specific flavor profile when pairing it with food.

Where is Syrah/Shiraz grown?

When it comes to Syrah, there are a few key regions around the world that really stand out for their production of this grape variety.

First and foremost, there’s the Northern Rhône region of France, where Syrah is often used to make wines that are known for their intense, complex flavors, and aging potential. Wines from this region are often blended with other grape varieties like Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne to produce some of the most sought-after and unique wines in the world.

Next, there’s Australia, where Syrah is known as Shiraz and produces wines that are known for their ripe, fruit-forward character and high alcohol content. The warm climates of Australia allows the grapes to ripen fully and produce big and rich wines that are loved by many.

In the New World, California and Washington state are producing high-quality Syrah, known for their rich black fruit and spicy aromas. These wines are known for their balance between fruit and acidity and are a great representation of the Syrah variety.

Spain is also a region that is producing great Syrah wines, known as “Sirah” or “Syra”, these wines are bold and complex, with a good aging potential.

Italy is another region where Syrah is grown and used to produce wines that are known for their complexity and aging potential.

In South Africa, Argentina, Chile and New Zealand, Syrah is also grown and produced, each producing their own unique style of Syrah wine. Each of these regions has their own unique terroir and winemaking method that give the wine a distinct character.