Same Wine Different Name Syrah/Shiraz

Published: 17th January 2009
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Syrah is mainly a dry table wine that originated in the wineries of southeastern France. When the grapes were cultivated in Australia, the wine produced from them was called Shiraqz, which accounts for the two names for the same wine. Shiraz is also the name of the wine produced in South Africa and Canada.

There is also a legend that says this wine was first produced in the city of Shiraz, Iran, which would mean that this is the original name of the grape. At first this wine was called Hermitage in Australia but because there is an Hermitage grape and registered wine of the same name in France, the name Shiraz was adopted.

Syrah or Shiraz wine is a dark red wine that packs a powerful punch in a full-bodied wine. There are different flavors of the wine depending on the soil conditions and climate of the areas in which it is produced and the different cultivation and winemaking procedures used.

The aromas can vary from that of red berries to chocolate, black pepper and even espresso. Blackberry is usually a typical aroma although it is hard to characterize it into one scent and taste. As the wine ages in the bottle, it does take on an earthier aroma, such as leather or truffles. The flavor and aroma also vary depending on whether the wine is aged in heavy or light oak barrels.

The Syrah grape loves heat, which is why it does well in the vineyards of California. However, they have also thrived in cooler climates of the world. These grapes are very vigorous and hardy. They grow in long, large bunches containing at least 130 grapes. They are resistant to rot and to many of the diseases that plague other types of grapes.

In the Rhone area of France, Syrah wine is an important component of the Grenache based red wines and in the famous Chateauneuf de Pape. The Australian versions of the wine tend to be fruitier even though peppery spices are added in the production process.

There are two different styles of Australian Shiraz. In the wines with a high tannic quality the flavor and aroma of blackberry and raspberry predominate. Some of the cheaper varieties are very bitter tasting and have a hint of Grenache. The wine produced in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales is perhaps the best known of the earthy Shiraz wines, while those of the Barossa Valley have more tannin and less fruity tastes.

Syrah wines have a concentrated flavor and high tannic properties. For this reason, they are best consumed after they have been aged for quite some time. Most of these wines are bottled for at least 15 years before they are sold on the market. The wine also has the highest recommended serving temperature at 65°F.

Foods that go well with this wine include red meats that have been richly flavored, grilled meats and vegetables, wild game, meat stews and pizza. It is the perfect wine to choose for a barbeque because of the taste of marinated steak combined with barbeque sauce. In is a great wine to serve in place of a Cabernet Sauvignon.

When you are looking for this wine, you may find it under the Syrah or Shiraz label, but there are also many different varieties. Some of these include:

• Antournerein Noir

• Balsamina

• Marsanne Noir

• Schiras

Allison Ryan is a freelance marketing writer from San Diego, CA. She specializes in the history of viniculture, international cuisine, and fine wine varietals, such as Grenache and Syrah/Shiraz. For a great selection of fantastic wines from some of the best wineries, please visit

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