Tag Archives: shiraz wine

How Shiraz, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Stack Up Against One Another

For the uninitiated, navigating the wide world of wines can be extremely difficult. There is so much to learn and know about wine, that it can get brain-numbing pretty quickly.


Let’s start off easy with the following 3 wine styles –

  • Shiraz

Shiraz is usually regarded as the ‘king’ of red wine grapes, is arguably the most popular grape variety around the world.

Shiraz varietals are generally full-bodied, bold, complex and intense. These strong wines are filled with tannins, making them hearty and powerful drinks to consume.

These wines match very well with red meats, hearty stews and wild game meats.

Shiraz wines are planted abundantly across Australia, California and the popular Rhone Valley of France.

  • Chardonnay

Amongst white wines, Chardonnay is probably the most popular grape variety.

Usually, Chardonnay wine varietals feature citrus, apple, pear and peach flavours, with an assortment of characters like vanilla, honeysuckle, lemon zest, almond and coconut.

These delicious flavours go well along with dishes like oysters, chicken breast, peas, goat cheese and mushrooms.

Chardonnay plantings can be found in California, France, New Zealand & Australia.

  • Pinot Noir

Pinot is earthy, has a lighter colour, and exhibits low to medium tannin density.

A flexible and easy drinking red variety, it features mushroom, cut hay and leather nuances dominated by fruity flavours of raspberries & rhubarb.

Fatty fish, pasta, meaty stews and casseroles are suggested food pairings with Pinot wines.

Pinot Noir can be found in abundance in Australia, Canada, UK and France.

Now that you’ve learnt a bit about all 3 of these wine types – you have to look deep within & figure out what kind of tastes do you have. Only then would you be able to judge which of these wines would work the best for you – Shiraz vs Chardonnay vs Pinot Noir.

If you cannot decide, just rush to your nearest wine store & pick up a bottle of each of these 3 varieties. Invite a couple of friends over, bring out a bunch of new wine glasses, prepare 1 or 2 meat dishes, and voila, you are all set for a wine tasting session. Cheers!


Geographical and Economic Facts of Australian Shiraz Wines

It would not be wrong to say that Shiraz grape has changed the face of Australian wine industry. It is grown in the largest wine-grapes growing area of the country. In 2015, the total land area under this grape was 39890 hectares, which accounted for about 30 percent of the total land under under grape cultivation in Australia. The next largest area is under the white wine grape variety of Cabernet Sauvignon at about 25000 hectares.

Shiraz is also the most widely produced wine in Australia with 395000 tonnes crushed in 2015 and also the most exported wine with 207 million litres exported in 2015. Interestingly, the cabernet sauvignon red grape variety does not take the second position in terms of tonnage crushed or exports. It takes the third position, with the second position going to white wine variety of Chardonnay in terms of tonnes crushed as well as exports.

Shiraz is believed to have come to Australia from Europe, where it was called Syrah. Some experts suggest that Europe, particularly France, is the birth place of this grape. But, some people also suggest that the ancient Iranian city of Shirazi also cultivated this grape variety and it is considered to be its birthplace. Irrespective of the birth place, it is a fact that this wine has been the face of this nation’s wine industry in front of the world community. It has earned it a place of pride among the wine-producing nations of the world.

Riverland-Riverina Wine Regions

Shiraz is grown mostly in the Riverland and Riverina regions of Australia. Together, these account for 43% of Shiraz growing region. Riverland wine region is in the state of South Australia. This region is situated where the Murray river enters South Australia from the border of New South Wales and Victoria. From there, the region stretches till the Blanchetown downstream. This region is situated to the east of another famous wine region, the Barossa Valley. Riverland is the largest wine producing area of Australia.

Riverina region is another wine region where Shiraz is grown. This region lies in south-western part of state of New South Wales, to the east of Riverland region and to west of the Great Dividing Range. This is a flat plains region drained by Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, and the northernmost boundary of this region is identified by catchment area of River Lachlan. This is also the region which is home to Aborigines. Thus, the wine region comprises both the agricultural and the pastoral areas.

Best Shiraz Wines

Almost all famous wine brands of Australia produce Shiraz wines. These are grown in wide variety of climatic conditions. Some of the best shiraz wines are also featured in the video below.

Shiraz Wines That Ruled Australia in 2016

Ever wondered which wines were the favorites of Australians in 2016. Here’s our list of Australian Shiraz Wines coming from different regions of Australia that won the hearts of many in the year 2016. It includes the wines from popular brands as well as the brands less heard of. Sit back and take a peek into 8 popular Shiraz Wines that ruled Australia in 2016. These wines are definitely worth a try! Especially to be enjoyed with friends and family or for special occasions.

Most Popular Shiraz Wines in Australia 2016

Syrah or Shiraz- What is in a Name?

Syrah or Shiraz- What is the difference between these two red wine varietals. This is the most popular question when it comes to shiraz wines. And, there are a number of answers which point to the fact these two are one and the same thing. There is no difference between the two wines. It is only the nomenclature which is different due to the different ways this word is said in different parts of the world.

Links with Shiraz- The Iranian City


The first thing which needs to be cleared is that this red wine grape varietal has nothing to do with the Iranian city of Shiraz which has a long history of habitation and growing wines in ancient and medieval times. There is a myth that the famed Shirazi wine grape varietal was brought to the Rhone region by traders. However, there is no solid documentary or DNA evidence to back this claim. In fact, no credible genomic studies of this grape have been done to determine its origin in this city (which was called Syracuse). At this stage, we can safely say that matching of these two names is purely coincidental, and beyond names, there is no commonality between the two.

The Genetic Connections


Shiraz is a popular red wine varietal. In fact, Shiraz red wines are the most consumed wine varietal in Australia. However, on conducting the genetic studies, it has been found that present shiraz grape varietal is actually a cross between the two native grape varietals of France- Dureza red grapes and Mondeuse white grapes. Dureza is a native of Ardeche region of France whereas Mondeuse belongs to Savoy regions. Though genetic connection has helped in determining its parentage, there is no evidence to suggest the time from which this grape varietal is being grown.

Historians have tried to determine its age in an indirect way. Pliny’s Naturalis Historia, written in AD 77, mentions a dark skinned grape varietal which was farmed in those times by the people of Allobroges. Pliny also mentioned that this grape varietal was not in existence about 50 years back. Pliny named it Allobroges, which is considered to be the present Shiraz.

Hermitage and Shiraz

Syrah is the name used to denote this wine in Europe, Latin America and South Africa. However, it is only in Australia that the name Shiraz has become popular. But, Shiraz was not the first name of this grape varietal in Australia. It was Hermitage. The grapes continued to be called by this name until late 1980 when it conflicted with one of the Protected Destination of Origin names of France. So, the name had to be changed to Shiraz and the wine became popular by this name.

Well, whatever be the name, Aussies love shiraz for its style, aroma, flavour and palette.