Syrah or Shiraz
Syrah & Shiraz are exactly the same grape, the name changes from the old world to the new world of wine. Of course, nothing in wine is exactly that easy as California (new world) actually continues to use the old world name and other new world producers have decided to follow suit allowing Australia to keep the Shiraz name almost exclusively.
Largely planted throughout France (especially the Rhone), Australia and then the United States and Chile Syrah is an interesting grape that takes plenty of different expressions throughout the world.
With so many large growing regions and varying styles of wine, it’s hard to make any broad generalizations about Syrah, especially when combined with the fact that it is an incredibly popular blending grape.
Perhaps the best current expressions of Syrah come with earthy expressions and often end with a spicy finish that cause it to be easily paired with hearty red meat dishes such as short ribs.
If you’re planning on trying your first Syrah, or Shiraz there are three main regions to try. You’ll find that California, France and Australia all produce dramatically different wines from the same grape.