ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

One of my favorite grapes has always been Shiraz. My question is this: I often hear people pronouncing it as "sheerazz," as in "jazz," and also as "sheerahs," as in "Mazda." Which seems to be the more common pronunciation? I usually use "sheerahs," as this is what I hear most often. Your thoughts, please.

—Robb L., Sebastian, Fla.

Dear Robb,

You say to-may-to, and I say to-mah-to. When referring to Shiraz, the Aussie name of the Syrah grape, you need to think of how Crocodile Dundee, Mel Gibson, Olivia Newton-John or any other Australians you might know would say it. With a bit of swagger (and a slight Down Under drawl), look your mate in the eye and say "Shee-RAZZ." It rhymes with "pizzazz."

—Dr. Vinny


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