Your Comprehensive Introduction to Syrah Wine

by | Jun 23, 2023 | Wine Online

Are you looking for a new wine to add to your dinner table and family celebrations this year? You’re in good company.

Research shows that about three-quarters of adults consume wine. Nearly half drink two glasses or more per week.

If you’re looking for a full-bodied wine, consider Syrah wine. Known in some countries as Shiraz wine, Syrah wine is a delectable red wine. Let’s explore this organic wine.

Syrah Wine: What Is It?

Syrah wine is created using berries from the Syrah grape varietal.

These berries hail from Southeast France’s Rhône berry-growing region. There, the berries were created by cross-pollinating the Mondeuse Blanche and Dureza varietals, then used to create Syrah wine.

The wine became popular among the French in the 1960s. At that time, just a couple of thousand hectares in Rhône were dedicated to cultivating Syrah grapes. However, this number of hectares is more than 70,000 today, as Syrah grapes are simple to cultivate, and the wine has skyrocketed in popularity.

“Syrah” vs. “Shiraz” Wine

Wondering why Syrah wine is also called Shiraz wine? That’s because “Syrah” means “Syrian grape.” The grape used to create the wine supposedly originated in Shiraz, an ancient city in Syria.

The term “Shiraz” is commonly used in the United States, Australia, and South Africa, which are often referred to as New World countries. On the other hand, in France, the wine is known as “Syrah.” Interestingly, these two wines exhibit some notable differences. The New World’s rendition tends to be characterized by its robust and bold nature, setting it apart from its French counterpart (more about the taste will be discussed shortly).

Taste of Syrah Wine

Syrah wine generally has a peppery and heavy taste that may take some getting used to. The wine’s flavors are bold, almost savory, and fairly acidic.

When you drink the wine, you may taste notes of floral accents, smoke, herbs, bacon, and peppercorns. Quality Syrah also offers a variety of welcome aromas.

This type of wine has a relatively high alcohol content as well. It can contain as much as 14.5% alcohol. The wine is also dry, so it pairs well with various foods (more on this later).

Process of Making Syrah Wine

The process of making Syrah wine follows a similar path to that of producing other red wines. Let’s explore the various steps involved in bringing this exceptional wine to life.


During the harvesting stage, winemakers carefully select Syrah grapes from the vineyards at the optimal moment to ensure the creation of exceptional wine bottles. The grapes are harvested when they have reached full ripeness.

Ripe Syrah berries exhibit a dark brown color, which serves as an indicator of their readiness for picking.


The process of crushing and pressing is an essential step in producing Syrah wine. Modern winemakers employ mechanical methods to crush the harvested grapes, ensuring efficient juice extraction. Whole bunches of grapes are carefully crushed to release the juice while still maintaining contact with the grape skins.

In the case of Syrah wine, which is known for its rich red color, it is crucial to allow ample time for the juice to interact with and absorb the flavors and pigments present in the grape skins. Once this maceration period is complete, the pressing process commences. During pressing, the grape juice is separated from the grape skins and seeds, facilitating the progression toward the next stages of winemaking.


After the crushing/pressing process, winemakers creating Syrah wine must let the yeast settle into their grape juice. This is when the process of fermentation begins.

Winemakers usually achieve a 10% alcohol level in cooler regions. Meanwhile, the level is typically higher, around 15%, in a warmer climate.

Once the grape’s sugar is turned into alcohol during fermentation, winemakers have a rich, dry red wine.

Clarification Process

The clarification process plays a crucial role in the production of Syrah wine, involving the following three essential steps:

  1. Wine Transfer: During this step, the wine is carefully transferred from its fermentation container to a new container. This process can be challenging and requires skill to avoid disturbing the sediment, similar to pouring black tea from one teacup to another while ensuring the tea leaves remain at the bottom of the first teacup.
  2. Filtering: To remove larger particles and impurities, the wine undergoes filtration. This process employs a mesh or filter that acts as a sieve, effectively separating undesirable elements from the wine.
  3. Fining: The final step in the clarification process is fining, which focuses on eliminating small solids that can affect the clarity of Syrah wine. In modern winemaking practices, bentonite clay is commonly used for this purpose. In the past, egg whites were utilized to achieve the desired fining effect.

By meticulously following these steps, winemakers can ensure that the Syrah wine achieves the desired clarity and quality before proceeding to subsequent stages of production.


Finally, winemakers can bottle their newly created Syrah wine or give it extra aging time.

The wine can age in barrels, bottles, stainless containers, or ceramic tanks. A wine that is fermented in a barrel is described as being “wooded” due to its unique flavor profile.

Tips for Drinking Syrah Wine

Embarking on your first Syrah wine-tasting adventure? Get ready to savor every sip! Remember, the key is to take it slow and let the wine work its magic on your taste buds. Allow the delightful combination of flavors to unfold gradually and create a symphony of tastes that will captivate your senses.

You may notice the wine’s acidity first. However, you’ll soon notice the wine’s weight once it lingers in the mouth.

When you exhale, you will begin to notice the wine’s more subtle and complex notes of savory floral accents and spice.

As we mentioned earlier, Syrah wine can pair well with virtually any food. Excellent choices include anything fatty and rich. These include the following:

  • Grilled vegetables
  • Steak
  • Lamb

Enjoy Syrah Wine Today

Syrah wine is a full-bodied, dry, red wine that has grown in popularity since the 1960s. This French wine tastes peppery and is extremely aromatic.

At Levo, we take pride in offering top-tier wines. We focus on California’s Rhône varietals to provide wine that can elevate any experience.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our wines, wine tasting room, and wine club memberships, and take advantage of our broad wine selection today!