Syrah / Shiraz Food Pairing: The Basics Plus

Short ribs paired with Syrah

Looking for a great wine for your summer barbecues? That would be Shiraz. The tricky part about this wine is that it comes in two styles which means a great pairing will be slightly different between the two.

The first style is called Syrah and originates in France. This style has an elegant balance of acidity, tannin, and fruit. It is the more subtle style. The second style is called Shiraz and is a big bold, fruity wine produced in Australia.

These two styles of Syrah will point you to the best food pairings for these wines. As you might guess, the subtle style Syrah will pair best with more subtle seasonings and food preparations than the bolder Shiraz which pairs best will bold flavors and seasonings. Find out more about the differences between Syrah and Shiraz.

Syrah / Shiraz Taste Characteristics

The key in pairing food with wine is to consider the flavors, weight, and intensity of the wine. With that in mind, let’s look at the typical characteristics of Syrah and Shiraz.

Syrah is a medium-bodied, dry red wine with a medium amount of acidity and a high amount of tannin. It has black fruit notes of blackberry along with black pepper, and vanilla and clove from aging in oak barrels. This is the subtle version of Shiraz.

Shiraz has the same structure as Syrah with a medium-body, medium amount of acidity, and a high amount of tannin. The difference is that Shiraz has bolder fruit flavors and higher alcohol content. It has jammy black fruit notes of black cherry and licorice along with vanilla and clove from aging in oak barrels.

Syrah / Shiraz Food Pairing Matches

Once we’ve identified the wine characteristics the next step is to make two decisions for your meal. The first is to decide which meal base like lamb or steak will pair best. Then decide how that meat will be prepared and seasoned. This second step is the key to leveling up your pairing game.

With Syrah and Shiraz the meal base recommendations will be the same. The difference will come when considering the seasonings and preparation of the meat. Keep in mind that Shiraz is bolder than Syrah.

Lamb paired with Syrah.