No grape scores higher on the intensity meter than Syrah.

By Food & Wine
October 17, 2011

It’s the marquee grape of France’s Rhône Valley, where it makes smoky, powerful reds with hints of black pepper. It has also become the signature grape of Australia, where it’s called Shiraz, and typically produces fruitier, less tannic wines marked by sweet blackberry flavors.

American Syrahs lean more toward the Australian mold, thanks to California’s similarly moderate weather; there are a few very good, earthy Syrahs coming from South Africa, too. Barbecued foods with a smoky char pair nicely with Syrah, as do lamb, venison and game birds. 

Intense, Spicy Syrah

Lamb Chops with Fennel Relish

Top Bottles

  • Jaboulet Crozes-Hermitage (France)
  • Copain Eaglepoint Ranch (California)
  • Fairview (South Africa)

Recipe Pairings

Round, Deep-Flavored Syrah

Honey-and-Spice-Glazed Chicken

Top Bottles

  • Qupé Central Coast (California)
  • Paraiso Santa Lucia Highlands (California)
  • Red Bicyclette (France)

Recipe Pairings

Fruity, Luscious Shiraz

Luscious Tandoori Lamb Chops

Top Bottles

  • 3 Rings Barossa Valley (Australia)
  • Tintara McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • Rosemount Hunter Valley (Australia)

Recipe Pairings

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