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Different Shiraz Wine Styles to Try

By on Last modified: October 30, 2015

Shiraz is one of the most popular wines in the world, it is popular among wine enthusiasts and people who just enjoy a glass every now and then. There are so many different Shiraz wine styles out there it’s hard to know which one goes with what, and which ones you might be interested in trying.

Shiraz is the Australian name given to this particular grape and it is the same grape as the French Syrah (it is also known in France as Hermitage). This particular grape started as a cross between the French grapes Dureza and the Mondeuse Blanche and today is the 6th most grown grape variety in the world and France grows most of it. If you are a fan of this particular wine you should also give Zinfandel or Malbec a try. There are some differences to the Shiraz wines depending on the location of where the grape has been grown.


Shiraz wine styles from warm climate environments differ in many ways. The most popular warm climate environments for growing Shiraz are Stellenbosch in South Africa and Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale in Australia. The differences start with this type of Shiraz being fuller-bodied, it’s also slightly darker in the colour and with a slightly sweeter taste. An interesting face about growing Shiraz in warmer climates is that it tends to have a higher alcohol percentage, and the top notes you will taste in this warm climate Shiraz are blackberry, blueberry, spices and chocolate.

Just like the warm climate Shiraz wine styles, the grapes grown in a cooler climate environment are distinct in taste. The most popular places for growing cooler climate Shiraz are Northern Rhone and New Zealand. The differences start with this wine coming off more elegant; it also has a more perfumed aroma and it seems to be a little more acidic. You can also age this wine because of the higher acidity content. Unlike the warm climate Shiraz which tends to be more fruity, the cooler climate Shiraz has more herbaceous top notes like olives, and it is a little meatier. The other top notes of this wine include spices and a pepper taste.

Food pairings with these different wines might get a little tricky if you’re not sure where to start. The warmer climate full-bodied Shiraz wine styles because of sweetness, higher alcohol content and fruity strong flavours, are more likely to pair with red meats and cured meats. The fruit and sweetness cut through the fat so you should try it with roast beef, venison or barbecued pork. Heavier vegetables also pair well such as mushrooms and tomatoes. Cheese with a strong flavour will compliment the warmer climate Shiraz and so will any Asian style cuisine with a sweet and sour sauce.


Cooler climate Shiraz, because it is a little more delicate and a little lighter than the warm climate Shiraz, is more suited to delicate foods. You should pair it with something with less fat like a spiced lamb, game also works perfectly with this wine, but is an acquired taste. Warmer spices like cumin, cloves and allspice go well with cool climate Shiraz and match with its pepperiness. Cheeses that would compliment this wine are pretty much all cheeses, just try to stay away from really strong flavoured cheese or anything too overpowering that the wine can’t cut through.

So with all this information on the different Shiraz wine styles why not go out and try them both with your favourite meals, or order a bottle next time you’re at a restaurant. A local bottle store should stock some nice bottles of Shiraz, but if you are looking for something more specific, there are plenty of online stores that carry a wide variety of wines that will deliver straight to your door.