What is Shiraz

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Shiraz is a red wine with two names, making it a bit confusing for those who are not well-versed in the language of wines!

What is Shiraz?

Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is a full-bodied red wine made from a dark-skinned grape variety.  It has a long history as it was named after the city of Shiraz in Iran, a city of literature and gardens, where it was produced. However, the modern-day Shiraz grape is said to have originated in France 2000 years ago.

Many people wonder whether Shiraz and Syrah are the same things, and the answer is yes. Legend has it that when Syrah grapes arrived in Australia, the locals pronounced it as Shiraz. Australia remains one of the largest producers of this delectable wine, along with France and California.

If you hold a glass of this wine up to the light, it will be practically opaque. When you’re drinking this wine, expect the taste of dark fruits, like blueberries or jam, as well as a peppery finish. Pair this heavy red wine with chocolates, cheese, or smoked meats and enjoy the delightful flavor combinations.

Glass of red wine held in a hand in a green background

Shiraz can vary in color from deep purple to deep red. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

A standard pour of this wine (5 oz) contains about 122 calories, which is comparable to many popular red wines, such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. Remember, however, that excessive amounts of alcohol can have side effects, so it should always be drunk in moderation.

Health Benefits

Shiraz/Syrah has a number of potential health benefits, but only when enjoyed in moderation. Let’s take a look at the top health benefits of this particular red wine variety.

  • It contains heart-healthy antioxidants that may prevent chronic diseases, including arthritis and inflammatory issues.
  • It may help restore collagen for skin health.
  • Resveratrol, in this wine, is neuroprotective and can improve memory, as well as potentially lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of various conditions and chronic diseases, including stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Adverse Risks Associated with Alcohol Consumption: Moderation is key. The risks involved with drinking excessive alcohol can be short term such as violence and injuries to long-term health risks such as chronic diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who should not drink alcohol include women who are pregnant, individuals younger than 21 years of age, and people who are recovering from alcoholism or cannot control the amount they drink. Also, it should be avoided by people who are planning to drive or any other activity that required focus and skill. However, different countries have different rules on alcohol purchase and consumption.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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