Shiraz and Cabernet grape varietals make two of the most popular wines in the world.
While they have many similarities, they have their differences that make an experience with either unique.
A frequently asked question is, which one is the best?
All wines are unique, just like your tastebuds are unique. It simply depends on what you prefer.
Shiraz or Cabernet? : The Background
Many people choose Cabernet over Shiraz because they are more familiar with it It’s more available in stores, and it’s usually at the top of the wine list in restaurants. The result? The possible miss out on a different kind of incredible experience another wine like Shiraz has to offer.
Εxperimenting and learning more about different wines and what makes them special will help you broaden your horizons.
Shiraz or Cabernet? A Closer Look
The grapes originated in France with the French name Syrah. Later, the grapes were transported to Australia where they were given the name Shiraz.
While both names are in reference to the same wine, they have some differences. Shiraz is typically described as a little bit more lush, ripe, and fruity, the traditional Syrah may be a little bit lighter on the fruit factor.
What about Cabernet?
The name Cabernet is actually a form of shorthand referring to Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world and is one of the most popular red wines. It was born in Bordeaux, France and quickly came to dominate the famous wine region.
Shiraz or Cabernet? The Differences
Size: Shiraz grapes are small but are still slightly larger than Cabernet grapes.
Color: Both grapes are deep in color, but Shiraz grapes have a darker color.
Durability: While both grapes are durable, Cabernet grapes are less susceptible to weather-hazards or disease.
Shiraz or Cabernet? Characteristics
Shiraz wines are known as some of the darkest full-bodied red wines in the world. Their deep violet, almost velvety black appearance is mesmerizing. The flavor of Shiraz can vary depending on where the grapes were grown. Many people describe the general taste as savory with hints of spice and dark fruits.
This type of wine has medium-high tannins, which can dry your mouth out a little bit. The acidity is average and you can expect an ABV between 13.5% to 15%.
A nice glass of Cabernet will be a deep red in color, but not as dark as Shiraz. It has higher levels of tannins which may dry your mouth as you sip it—but not too much. This wine can also have high acidity depending on where the grapes were grown.
Cabernet has an ABV between 13% and 15% and many people prefer to have a glass paired with food. Also depending the region some Cabernet wines may have a more fruity taste while others may be more savory. Many people agree that Cabernet has flavors of green pepper, tobacco, dark fruits, and vanilla. The more subtle vanilla flavor comes from the cabernet aging in oak barrels.
Most Popular Regions
A few of the most popular regions for Shiraz grapes are:
A few of the most popular regions for Cabernet grapes are: