Choosing between Shiraz vs Chianti? These two famous red wines have a lot to offer. Find out what they have in common and the key differences in terms of alcohol content, food pairings, typical taste, and prices.
Shiraz vs Chianti: The Most Important Similarities
When you order a bottle of wine, including a varietal wine, taste is probably top of mind. The Shiraz and Chianti wine grapes typically make wines with the following flavors.
The main similarities between these wines include the following:
- Red Wine Grapes. Both Shiraz and Chianti are made from red wine grapes.
- Dry Wines. Most producers make Shiraz and Chianti in a dry wine style.
- Level of Tannins. Both of these wines have significant tannin content. If you are a white wine enthusiast, these wines may not be to your liking.
With those points covered, you’re probably wondering how these wines taste, so let’s start with that key difference first.
Wine Differences 1: Flavor
The first significant difference between these wines is their flavor profile. Geography is a crucial reason for the difference. Shiraz wines are made across the world. In comparison, Chianti wines are only made in central Italy (i.e., the Italian region of Tuscany). Both of the may be aged in oak barrels. In that case, the wine will take on additional flavors like vanilla, butter, and spices.
Shiraz Wine Flavors
The fruit flavors in Shiraz include dark fruit flavors like blueberry and blackberry. Some people use the term peppery wines to describe Shiraz because it has those elements. A Shiraz from South Australia is a good pick if your taste buds favor fruity flavors.
Additional flavors in Shiraz wine include cacao, licorice, and cola. This delicious wine is made from international grapes – the Shiraz or Syrah grapes. To learn more about Syrah, see this post: Malbec vs Syrah.
Chianti Wine Flavors
The fruity taste of Chianti wines includes cherry and strawberry. Additional flavors in the wine include herbs, smoky notes, and vinegar. Chianti wine is made from the Sangiovese grape, so it may also be described as a Sangiovese wine. Find out more about the taste of Chianti!
Wine Difference 2: Food Pairings
As red wines, Shiraz and Chianti have some common ground. You can enjoy both of them with red meat, for example. Also, these wines may be considered tannic wines. Tannin is a natural substance found in various foods, including nuts, tea, and red wine grapes. Even with these similarities, these red wines
Chianti Classico wines (or my favorite Chianti Classico DOCG – the top tier quality level) is a famously food-friendly wine. The wine pairs well with tomato-based dishes like most pizzas and many Italian foods. I’ve enjoyed this fantastic wine with pizza, which has been wonderful.
Shiraz Vs Chianti Wine Difference 3: Alcohol Content
Chianti alcohol content is typically around 12%. The alcohol content in these wines doesn’t vary that much because Chianti wines are all produced in the same part of Italy.
Shiraz wines have a much more comprehensive range of alcohol content depending on geography, climate, and other factors. Cooler regions, like France, made Syrah / Shiraz (Shiraz and Syrah are made from the same wine grape) have a 13-14% alcohol content. Warmer wine regions like Australia tend to produce Shiraz wines with a higher alcohol content of 14.5-15.5%.
Wine Difference 4: Where Shiraz and Chianti Wines Are Produced
Wine production geography is a significant difference between these two red wines.
Shiraz may be considered part of the international wine grape varieties group because it is grown in various regions.
In contrast, Chianti wine belongs with other Italian wines. Further, Chianti is a geographic type of wine – it comes from a specific place. It is like Champagne in that respect – you can only call a wine Chianti or Champagne if it is made in a specific area of Europe.
Chianti vs Shiraz Typical Prices
There are significant price differences between these wines for a simple reason. Chianti wines are only made in a specific part of Italy. Further, Chianti Classico’s wines are made in an even smaller region. For example, you will not find true Chianti wines produced in northern Italy or southern Italy.
In comparison, Syrah wines can be produced in various climates, including France and Australia.
Let’s look at the top wines for both grape varieties to get a sense of the typical prices. These prices are in US dollars as of February 2023. Wine prices are subject to change over time.
Chianti Wine Prices
Quality Chianti Classico wines start at approximately $20 and go up to close to $100. There are more expensive bottles (i.e., over $100 per bottle), but those tend to be aged to become the perfect wine for Chianti wine lovers.
As a Chianti DOCG enthusiast, the wine offers fantastic value! I also love that generations of people from Florence may have enjoyed these kinds of wines.
Shiraz Wine Prices
The best Shiraz wines are typically priced at more than $100 per bottle. For example, Penfolds Grange Bin 95 from Australia sells for over $500! Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable Shiraz wine options like Reyneke Reserve Red (a Shiraz from Stellenbosch, South Africa) and Spinifex Bete Noir Shiraz (Barossa Valley, Australia) priced at less than $100.
Shiraz vs Chianti In Summary
Chianti & Shiraz wines share some common ground as tannic red wines. I have enjoyed both wines. Chianti Classico’s acidity makes it an amazing option to enjoy with Italian and tomato-based dishes. Shiraz, on the other hand, is produced in multiple wine regions. Since Shiraz wines are produced in multiple regions – Chianti is only produced in one area of Italy – there is more Shiraz wine worldwide.