You say Shiraz and I say Syrah. What difference does it make? Syrah is the French name for the famous red grape varietal commonly planted in the region of Rhone in France. Shiraz is the name commonly given by vintners for the same grape varietal grown in the New World such as Australia and Chile. Although made from the same grape, French styled Syrah tend to emphasize overall balance in the wine where primary flavours of rich black and red fruits and spice are supported by secondary flavours of earth and leather. On the other hand, New World Shiraz especially those from Australia very often are more fruit forward. There are New World producers who make wines in a style similar to the French. In this case, they will label the wine Syrah instead. The Syrah from these New World producers can be insanely great at a much lower price point compared to the French sample of the same quality, so it is well worth a look at. Rust en Vrede Syrah and Montes Alpha Syrah are two good labels to look at.
Both Syrah and Shiraz are great and no one is more superior than the other. Generally, if you are looking to enjoy the wine on its own, go for the Shiraz. If you are after a food pairing, Syrah works well especially with grilled pork, lamb and beef steaks.
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