Syrah or Shiraz wine is one of the most loved and best known red wines in the whole world. And it is one of the most bewildering or perplexing as well. From its name, Shiraz, Sirah, Syrah, to its roots, this wine can seem like a big puzzle to budding wine drinkers.
Although the main homeland of this red grape is, for the most part, France, Syrah has been, believe it or not, planted and grown throughout the whole world to optimum success. The Syrah variety manifests itself differently relying upon the regional style, climate, and soil, though a few characteristics remain the same.
This varietal makes for a boisterous, dark, deep, and bold red wine, even much darker in color compared to the highly-regarded Cabernet Sauvignon, which can give you a tannin kick and a weighty mouthful. To know more, read this guide to understand more about Syrah or Shiraz wine.
What Is Syrah/Shiraz?
Syrah or Shiraz is a world-renowned red grape variety used to create and produce high-quality and premium wine. Although it has its origin in the southern part of France from the Mondeuse Blanche and Dureza grapes, Syrah now germinates and develops throughout the whole world, from Washington State, Argentina, to South Africa. This red grape variety is, believe it or not, the 6th most grown and nurtured grape in the world, with grape vines encompassing about five hundred acres.
Aside from its deep, dark red color, Syrah or Shiraz has plenty of other unique qualities as well. First, Syrah red grapes are, for the most part, small in size and range from a seemingly egg-like and round shape. Additionally, the grapes are robust and strong. However, it is susceptible or vulnerable to weather-related hazard and viticultural hazard, which can cause breaking into pieces after flowering.
Moreover, Syrah grapes are susceptible to attacks from oidium and mildew as well. The vines have, for the most part, short ripening period. As such, harvesting Syrah grapes is a delicate and intricate process requiring know-how and strong human oversight.
The tannins found in the skins of the grapes enable it to age and mature well in the bottle for years to come. Furthermore, the grapes are harvested at peak maturity. Thus, the wine does not need to age for many years to get that desired flavor and full body. Take note that most Shiraz wines are, for the most part, ready to be consumed after a couple of years only.
This red grape variety likes dry soils and climates as it allows deep root penetration. And this is also one of the many reasons why it is popular in countries like Australia. Syrah is hypersensitive to the cold snap. Therefore, Syrah is best stored at home or in the office between sixty to sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. However, take note that the leading danger to Syrah is over-cropping.
Characteristics of Syrah/Shiraz Wine
When the Syrah wine is being processed, it becomes one of the deepest and darkest red wines that you can find in the market. That is undoubtedly a fact! Aside from that, it comes with a pleasant mouthfeel and smooth palate.
Syrah or Shiraz is generally known for being full-bodied and dense, powerful and heavy. However, it is still smooth and fit to drink or palatable. And as we have said, Syrah is dark-colored to the point of, for the most part, being purple.
Furthermore, because of its capability blend well with other variety of grapes, Syrah or Shiraz is popularly known as a chameleon grape or workhorse grape as it enhances the flavors. The heavy and dark palate gives itself well to round out and balance other variety of grapes, such as Viognier, Bordeaux, Cinsaut, Carignan, and Grenache.
The flavor profile of Syrah is mainly characterized or defined as the following:
- Dark Fruit
- Black Pepper
Since Syrah has a powerful character, it goes well with, in particular, meat or bold foods very well. Basically, you can pair it with almost anything from barbeque to a blue cheese burger, the key here is to put forward the subtle shades in the wine.
Here’s a list of some recommended food to pair with a bottle of Syrah wine such as Gramercy Cellars Lower East Syrah:
- Rack of lamb
- Tender pork chops
- Grilled hibachi chicken
- Blowtorch prime rib
There are plenty of Syrah wines available out there, and it is worth choosing some of the best to start your tasting journey. Do not confuse yourself with the names Syrah and Shiraz as they are the same thing. By that we mean, both of them refer to the same variety of grape. Essentially, Syrah is, for the most part, a French word. However, when it was grown in Australia, it was provided the name Shiraz.