Syrah VS Shiraz

Exploring the Duality of Syrah vs Shiraz

When it comes to Syrah vs Shiraz, both these names are often used interchangeably. Though they represent the same grape variety – Vitis vinifera Syrah – yet their resulting wines can boast distinct personalities. Let’s delve into this fascinating duality and explore what makes Syrah and Shiraz such intriguing counterparts.

difference between syrah and shiraz

Syrah vs Shiraz: Difference Between Syrah and Shiraz

The first question that arises when it comes to Syrah vs Shiraz is – are Syrah and Shiraz the same? Short answer, yes.

Syrah and Shiraz are two names for the same grape variety, Vitis vinifera Syrah. Syrah is typically used in France and the Rhône Valley, while Shiraz is dominant in Australia and the New World.

For a deeper dive, let’s understand three main points…

  • The Origins and Evolution

What is a Syrah: Syrah, the name most commonly used in France (the grape’s ancestral home) and the Rhône Valley, conjures up images of peppery spice, violets, and dark fruit. The cooler climates of France tend to produce French Shiraz wine with higher acidity and restrained elegance.

What is a Shiraz: Meanwhile, Shiraz, the dominant term in Australia (where Syrah truly flourished) and the New World, is all about boldness. Think ripe plums, blackberry jam, and a touch of cocoa. The warmer climates of Australia allow these Australian Shiraz to ripen more fully, resulting in wines with higher alcohol content and a more pronounced fruit-forward character.

  • The Distinction of Two Terroirs

Did you know that Syrah is one of the most food-friendly red wines? This speaks to the grape’s versatility, with its acidity cutting through richness and its tannins standing up to bold flavors.

On the other hand, Shiraz often finds itself paired with heartier fare. This wine can hold its own against smoky flavors and caramelized notes like barbecued dishes.

  • The Winemaking

It’s important to remember that Syrah and Shiraz are not just about geographical distinctions. Winemaking techniques also play a crucial role in shaping a wine’s personality. For instance, using new oak barrels during aging can impart notes of vanilla and toast to both Syrah and Shiraz, but the intensity of those flavors will vary depending on the winemaker’s choices.

Summing Up…

Ultimately, the beauty of Syrah and Shiraz lies in their ability to showcase the artistry of the winemaker and the unique terroir where the grapes are grown. So, the next time you raise a glass of either (which you can easily get from an online wine shop Singapore), take a moment to appreciate the subtle nuances that make both wine red so captivating.

French wine facts

3 French Wine Facts You Didn’t Know Yet


French wine is renowned worldwide for its rich French wine history, diverse flavors, and sophisticated production methods. The mere mention conjures images of rolling vineyards bathed in sunshine, cobbled village squares, and cellars brimming with history.

The allure of French Wines is owed to the oldest winemaking tradition in the world over 2,600 years, and a strict French wine classification system. But while the regulars of French wine like the “Grand Cru” and “Chateau” labels, there are also many not-so-regular stuff that the huge French wine industry beholds.

Today, we will tell you three fascinating French wine facts that you may not have known yet.


types of French wine

3 Amazing French Wine Facts

The Ultimate French Wine Designations

Quality comes with strict discipline and the same is true in the case of French wines. The entire French wine production ecosystem in France is controlled with a strict plan that controls the winemakers to follow certain quality standards and regulations and all types of French wine are classified using the same.

You might have read abbreviations like AOC, VDQS, etc. on any French wine bottle labels which are indications of these standards, and sure these can be daunting to understand, but here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée): The most prestigious designation, guaranteeing strict production rules and regional authenticity. Think iconic names like Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne.
  • VDQS (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure): Or in English, “Delimited Wine of Superior Quality,” a step below AOC, but still signifying quality and regional character. Look for wines from areas like Gaillac or Jurançon.
  • Vin de Pays: Wider regional wines with looser French wine regulations, but offering good value and local personality. Try wines from Côtes de Gascogne or Côtes du Rhône.
  • Vin de Table: The most basic category in French wine culture, often used for blends or everyday wines.

Pro Tip: Look for the region name on the label – it often hints at the grape variety and style. For example, Sancerre usually means Sauvignon Blanc, while Côtes du Rhône suggests a Grenache-Syrah blend.

french wine types

The Regions are a Pride

After the strict quality labeling, the second thing that beholds France’s pride is its vast wine landscape. While almost the entire of France is dedicated to delivering excellent wines except for Brittany, Normandy, and Nord-Pas de Calais, there are a whopping 11 French wine regions:

  1. Bordeaux: Home to the French wine popular blends like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as dry whites (Sauternes) and lighter reds (Côtes de Bourg).
  2. Burgundy: Famed for elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but also Gamay from Beaujolais offering juicy French red wine.
  3. Rhône Valley: Syrah reigns supreme here, producing powerful reds like Hermitage and Côtes du Rhône. Don’t miss white wine varieties in France like Viognier and Condrieu.
  4. Loire Valley: Diverse region offering crisp Sauvignon Blancs (Sancerre), sweet Chenin Blancs (Vouvray), and sparkling wine from France (Saumur).
  5. Provence: Rosé rules here, made with Grenache, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. Explore refreshing whites and elegant Bandol reds too.
  6. Champagne: The birthplace of bubbly, using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier for its celebrated sparkling wines.
  7. Alsace: Aromatic whites like Gewurztraminer and Riesling dominate here, influenced by German plus French wine traditions.
  8. Languedoc-Roussillon: Offers a vast array of styles and grapes, from Grenache-based reds to refreshing French rose wine and unique Muscat whites.
  9. Jura: Known for its unique Savagnin grape, producing dry French white wines and the vin jaune, aged for years under a veil of yeast.
  10. Corsica: Mediterranean island with indigenous grapes like Nielluccio and Sciacarello, offering diverse reds, whites, and rosés.
  11. Southwest France: Home to Malbec-dominant reds (Cahors), lighter reds with Gamay (Gaillac), and sweet whites (Monbazillac).

Fun Fact: There are over 40 distinct French wine Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (AOCs), each with its own unique regulations and grape varietals.

french wine designation

French Wines Need Not be Costly

Enjoying French wine types doesn’t always mean emptying your wallet. Many lesser-known grape varieties offer excellent value and exciting discoveries, meaning, you can also enjoy French wines at a lower price.

  • Malbec: Originally from Bordeaux, it now thrives in Cahors, offering bold and inky flavors.
  • Cabernet Franc: Often blended in Bordeaux wine, it shines in Loire Valley wines like Chinon, offering herbal and pepper notes.
  • Gamay: Beaujolais’ star grape, producing light and fruity reds perfect for everyday enjoyment.
  • Carignan: Found in Languedoc, it delivers rustic charm and earthy flavors at affordable prices.
  • Chenin Blanc: This versatile grape excels in the Loire Valley, offering dry, sweet, and sparkling styles.

facts about french wine

Remember: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different French wine tasting notes and French wine food pairings! Explore online wine shops and look for recommendations based on your taste preferences and budget.

With these newfound insights, you’re no longer just a wine drinker, but an explorer ready to explore the exciting world of French wines. So next time you raise a glass, remember the hidden stories, diverse regions, and lesser-known varieties.