Curious about Shiraz wine taste? You’ve come to the right place. You’re about the learn the taste of this popular grape variety, where it is made, and some of the most popular food pairings. Note that Syrah and Shiraz are two names for the same wine grape. The word Syrah is commonly used in Europe while Australian wines.
Shiraz Wine Taste
Shiraz wine is popular with many wine lovers, especially Australian wines. When you pour a glass of wine from a Shiraz bottle, here is what you can expect.
Shiraz wine typically tastes like black fruits (e.g., blackberry), black pepper, and an overall fruity forward style. A Shiraz wine is a good pick if you like wines that emphasize a fruitier flavor.
Secondary Earthy Flavors
In addition to fruit flavors, the wine also has flavors of olives, tobacco, truffles, and coffee. However, the fruit-forward nature of the wine means that these non-fruit flavors may be more challenging to detect.
In addition to the flavors, it is also important to keep alcohol content in mind. Since this wine is made worldwide, you can find it made in a variety of alcohol levels.
Controlling your alcohol intake is an essential part of enjoying wine. Australian Shiraz wines tend to have a high alcohol content: 15%. That high alcohol content has prompted some people to wonder if Australian wines have too much alcohol (e.g., Good Food asked Is Australian red wine too alcoholic? in 2014). Of course, it would be misleading to describe all Australian viticulture in a single phrase. Many other wine producers in Australia take a different approach to their wines.
Shiraz Wine Taste: What About Tannin Content?
When discussing red wines, we have to cover tannin content. This naturally occurring substance is also found in tea. It tends to give the wine a bit of a bitter flavor. As a result, some people avoid wines with significant tannin content. Generally speaking, the Shiraz wine taste has firm tannins.
As a wine taster, you might prefer the lowest tannin red wines. In that case, check out this short guide to the five lowest tannin red wines. Also, remember that white wine grape varieties usually have the lowest tannins.
Food Pairings for Syrah Wine or Shiraz
Wine enthusiasts love to debate what to eat with delicious wine. In truth, it takes experimentation to find the perfect wine pairing. Try out the following ideas to get started in your food wine pairing experimentation.
- Meat Dishes. You have plenty of choices here, including BBQ, grilled meats, hamburgers, and lamb.
- Vegetarian Dishes. Mushrooms are a good pick.
- Cheeses. Aged hard cheeses are your best bet, so pick up some Gouda, and you will be ready to enjoy your delicious wine.
- Spicy Dishes. Shiraz goes well with spicy Asian dishes.
Now that you know your way around fantastic pairings, it is helpful to know what to avoid in the wine universe.
Food Pairings To Avoid
When wine lovers meet to drink wine, they are specific food pairings to avoid. Generally speaking, avoid seafood dishes with Shiraz wine, including lobster and shrimp. Such seafood dishes typically go better with white wines. In addition, sour dishes are not a good pairing.
Wine Regions For Syrah Wine and Shiraz Wine
Since the Shiraz or Syah wine grape is grown worldwide, there are many different wine regions to consider. According to Wine Searcher, the top three wine-producing countries are Australia (87% of production), South Africa (7%), and the USA (2%).
On the other hand, if we look at Syrah, we will see France as the largest producer with 58% of global wine production.
Australia Wine Regions
Starting in the 19th century, the Syrah grape was first planted in Australia. Today, the leading wine regions for Shiraz wine include the Hunter Valley, Clare Valley, and Barossa Valley. You might be used to thinking of Australia as a warm climate for wine production. The country produces both cooler climate and warmer climate Shiraz.
According to Wine Selectors, an Australian wine website, warmer climate Shiraz is made in the following wine regions: Barossa Valley, Hunter Valley, Clare Valley, and Coonawarra. On the other hand, you can find cooler climate Shiraz made in Adelaide Hills, the Eden Valley, and Yarra Valley.
Generally speaking, Shiraz wine taste is different depending on climate. Warmer climates mean you will taste a riper fruit and have a full-bodied red wine experience. This is the Australian wine style that many people are used to drinking. In addition to those popular wines, you can also find Shiraz wine made in a cooler climate style with medium-bodied red wine quality.
France – Country of Origin For Shiraz
No guide to Shiraz wine taste would be complete without covering the delights of French wine. Historically, the Shiraz wine grape (also known as Syrah) is thought to originate in the Rhône Valley wine region of France. Most wine lovers consider the Rhône Valley to set the standard for
When shopping for Shiraz or Syrah from France, there are a few phrases you should look for on the wine label:
- Northern Rhône
- Côtes Du Rhône
- Specific Wine Appellations. An appellation is a relatively more minor geographic wine region. In French wines, keep an eye out for Crozes-Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, and Cornas.
In French wines, a specific geographic description is usually associated with a higher level of wine quality. If the bottle only lists a country of origin (i.e., “France”), then you probably have a lower quality of wine on your hands.
Wine Travel To Experience French Wines
If you are planning wine travel to France, visiting the Northern Rhône is easy. You can stay in Lyon and travel south to explore the region. Alternatively, you might prefer a Mediterranean travel experience. In that case, you can travel north from Marseilles. Keep in mind that Marseilles is further away from the Rhône valley, so making a day trip may not be practical. It is 231 km from Marseilles to Crozes-Hermitage, for example.