Syrah / Shiraz

  (seh-RAH) / (cher-RAHZ)
Synonyms: Syrah, Shiraz, Petite Syrah (in northern Rhône but not to be confused with Petit Sirah of California), Antourenein Noir, Balsamina, Candive, Entournerein, Hignin Noir, Marsanne Noir, Schiras, Sirac, Syra, Syrac, Serine, Sereine

Wine Name: Syrah, Shiraz, and specific northern Rhone red wine names

Background: Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape. Its home has been in southern France where it is made into a varietal wine in the northern Rhône area. There, the wines are 100% Syrah and will have blackberry fruity flavor with notes of black pepper and sometimes mint. It will be medium to full bodied with strong tannins. In the southern Rhône area it is blended with other Mediterranean grapes into Cote d’ Rhône and Châteauneuf Du Pape wines. Australia, however, now produces the most Syrah which they call Shiraz. In the Barossa Valley of Australia, Shiraz wines will be black currant and black cherry fruit flavored, full-bodied and creamy with smooth tannins and a dark chocolate finish. From the Clare Valley in Australia there may be a milk chocolate finish. Tar, smoke and spice are often noticeable elements. Good California Syrahs may have a little more red fruit flavors such as raspberry and cherry along with black plum, currants, and white pepper and spice flavors. Washington State, especially from the Walla Walla Valley, is currently producing some of the highest rated Syrahs.

Classic Brands and Sources: Many Australian producers especially from Barossa or Clare Valley; USA – Cline, Colgin, Jade Mountain, Joseph Phelps, Sine Qua Non, Qupe, Cayuse, K, Reynvaan, Charles Smith; France – Chapoutier, Delas Frères, Guigal, Alain Grailot, Jaboulet, Réne Rostaing


Style #1 – Northern Rhône

Body – medium (+)

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – high

Style #2 – warm climate
(Australia, California, Washington State)

Body – full

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with a wide range of slightly acidic to savory full bodied dishes.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
eef, lamb, game, chicken, turkey, veal or pork grilled, roasted or braised, barbeque, chili, hamburgers, meatloaf, sausages, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto.

Cheese Pairings:
Mild Cheddar, Edam, Glouchester, Manchego, Muenster, Provolone (aged), Parmesan, Pecorino, Roncal, Smoked Gouda