Syrah and Shiraz are the exact same grape, much like Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are also the same grape. So whether you’re drinking a wine that says Syrah or a wine that says Shiraz, the wine is made from the same grape. The French call the grape Syrah, while Australians call the grape Shiraz. If your label says Shiraz, there’s a good chance it’s from Australia. The rest of the world tends to follow the French and call the grape Syrah, but this is not a strict rule. Syrah is pronounced sih-RAH. Shiraz is pronounced sher-AS (rhymes with jazz).
Over time, however, Syrah and Shiraz have taken on meaning beyond preference of name. Australians like to make big jammy wines from this grape, and wines named Shiraz tend to be in this style. The French make less fruit-forward wines in general, so wines named Syrah tend to be more restraint than Shiraz. This is a general rule of thumb, but not always the case. Keep in mind that although Shiraz and Syrah can be different stylistically, they are still the same grape.
Petite Sirah, on the other hand, is an entirely different grape than Syrah/Shiraz, although it sometimes gets confused because Sirah is pronounced the same as Syrah. Elsewhere in the world this grape is called Durif. Petite Sirah wines are big and inky with tons of dark fruit flavors. Don’t make the mistake that this grape is in any way related to Syrah/Shiraz, as people sometimes do.
In short: Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape, both used depending on the brand/winemaker preference. Petite Sirah is a different grape and has no relation to Syrah and Shiraz.
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