Syrah or shiraz? What's the difference?? Well, depending on how you look at it, not much or considerable. Basically, shiraz and syrah are the same grape, but as with all grapes, it takes on the characteristics of the soil it's planted in. Shiraz is pretty much only found in Australia, although some producers elsewhere have hijacked the name for marketing purposes. It is chocolatey, spicy and bold in taste. Syrah is planted elsewhere in the world and is peppery and more delicate in nature. So-called petit sirah is actually a cross between syrah, durif, and/or peloursin, all very similar grapes, and its taste is more delicate still and usually requires ageing to bring its flavors to full fruition. All of this noble rot is grist for the mill, I suppose (as we freely mix our metaphors here), but you should consider doing a tasting yourself to experience the difference, and you can start with a very nice Texas version, the Su Vino Syrah.
The robe of the Su Vino Syrah is blackberry jam, just pulled off the shelf and opened for enjoyment. The nose is pencil erasers, mixed with light touches of pepper and fruit. More pencil chewing, leather, berries, and white pepper are found in the taste, with a finish of nutmeg. Pork tenderloin or seared Ahi tuna would pair well with this varietal, as it just begs to work with food. Website is http://www.suvinowinery.com/, where you can check out how many awards this Grapevine winery has won. Debate the syrah/shiraz difference yourself, and remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!