Pronounced see-rah. A grape varietal, used in the production of red wine, originating in the Rhône region of France. Also grown in Australia, South Africa, and the United States. Vinified as a 100% varietal in Côte-Rotie, Hermitage, and other Rhône regional red wines and blended with Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals. Syrah is one of thirteen grape varietals allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines.
Also known as: Shiraz, Hermitage.
Characteristics: Produces hearty, medium to full bodied, medium to high tannic wines with hints of blackberry, violets, spice, herbs, leather, smoke, and pepper.
Ageing: Wine can be harsh if not fully aged. Capable of ageing in oak for decades.
Serving temperature: Serve at a temperature of 65º-70º F.
Food pairing: Barbecued foods, grilled foods, dark meats, strong game, and lamb.