What’s the Difference Between Syrah and Shiraz?

By | Sommelier & Wine Writer
Last Updated: January 8, 2019

Could you explain the Syrah grape variety? Where is it grown, where is its best expression found, what does it taste like and where does it come from? What are ideal food pairings for Syrah Shiraz?

Syrah/Shiraz are the exact same grape. It was brought over from France, where in Northern Rhone it found its spotlight. The special dialect came from Persia, as Shiraz is an ancient city. Many in Australia believed that the grape Syrah came from this ancient city. Though, after clonal research it has been confirmed that it is indeed from France.

Shiraz and Syrah - What's the Difference? | Winetraveler.com
In Australia, the Syrah grape variety is referred to as Shiraz, even though it’s the exact same grape as Syrah grown in France and elsewhere around the world.

Shiraz is a black skinned grape with high pigmentation. It’s known for having a deep inky color, with fresh and roasted berry tones (especially in Barossa, Australia). Classic notes for Syrah are smoked meats, black peppercorns and lifted floral aromatics while still being very fruit forward. Syrah is a type of wine with real personality. It’s floral, peppery and fruit forward on both the nose and palate.

Syrah Food Pairing Tip: At The Florentine, we have Prosciutto wrapped black mission figs as an antipasti. They are roasted and served with crumbled Gorgonzola. This paired up with the a juicy Shiraz is a match made in heaven. The sweetness of the soft fig balances out the jammy tones in the wine, and the salty, smoky and crispy prosciutto elevates the smoky meaty tones within the wine.

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