You call it Syrah, I call it Shiraz
And you thought Doris Day was singing Que sera sera, no she was singing about the wonderful attributes of her favourite red wine, Syrah. Don’t you just hate punsters.
Ok, who knows the difference between Syrah and Shiraz? If you said the spelling you are absolutely correct. They are exactly the same grape.
Syrah gained its reputation in the Rhone region of France and has been grown there since Roman times. The grape is thought to originate in the Middle East. Wines containing Syrah are deeply coloured and usually highly tannic. Many describe Syrah having flavours of sweet blackberries, blackcurrants, plums and almost always a peppery taste. Syrah is quite often used in many blends, perhaps most famously in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As the French don’t take to favourably to using their names on wine, the wine kit industry use the handle Vieux Chateau du Roi or in the case of our Cellar Craft wines Chateau du Pays to replace Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
So what is with this Shiraz? Well the Aussies, God love them, adopted the “Syrah” as their own and Syrah grown and produced in Australia is called Shiraz. The name Shiraz is thought to come from the Aussies belief that the grape originated in Shiraz, Turkey.
Aussie Shiraz’s are quite often highly tannic and one swears that they have poured a plank or two of oak into the bottle. The French, until recently have maintained the high road and produced Syrahs that are more flavourful and fruitier and lighter on oak. However with the decline in the French wine industry you can now find French Shiraz. Why? Because most consumers have so accepted Australian Shiraz they are unaware that French Syrah is the same stuff! Marketing huh! The Yankees maintain their state of confusion and you will find both American Shiraz and American Syrah.
Want to try a Shiraz or Syrah? Check out the Vintners Reserve Australian Shiraz which is on sale this month. Note that this kit emphasizes the fruit forward nature of Shiraz. If you are looking for an oakier Shiraz we can help you find something more to your liking. Creative Connoisseur has several different Syrah/Shiraz kits and many more kits that have blends containing this wonderful grape variety.