A busy interchange with lots of flavours colliding

Si-rah / Shi-razz

Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape, Syrah being the French name and Shiraz the New World. The names are now used almost interchangeably, although there is often a nod to the heritage. If you buy Syrah, you’re more likely to get a more restrained, savoury wine, and Shiraz, a more punchy, spicy version. That said, whichever name, the wines tend to be vibrant, blackberry, juicy wine with at least a hint of black pepper and spice. It is grown worldwide and is often turned into very average sweet, fruit bombs, but it doesn’t take much to switch into a wine with more substance, perfect for warming your cockles and washing down a whole host of meals. Great places to look for classy Syrah/Shiraz are Barossa, New Zealand (yes really), Northern Rhône (Côte Rôtie, Crozes Hermitage are Syrah based) to name a couple.

Things you should know

Top Tip: Syrah/Shiraz is often oak aged, which changes the nature of the wine. If you're not a fan of sweeter flavours steer clear of American oak and look for wines aged in French oak instead.
Specific Food Match: The softer Syrah/Shiraz styles tend to be very easy drinking, and perfect for weeknight dinners, from sausages to shepherd's pie or tagines. Further up the scale you can go fancy, it's a great wine for intense meat dishes, classic Roast Beef, poached sirloin steak or caramelised onion tarte tatin.
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