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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Please help me settle a bet. Isn’t Shiraz the same grape as Syrah?

—Ford W., Irving, Tex.

Dear Ford,

I hope you’re on the winning side of this bet. Yes, “Shiraz” is synonymous with “Syrah”—both words refer to a type of red wine grape, and a wine made from that grape. “Shiraz” is the term of choice for most Australian winemakers (and producers who fashion their bottlings in the Australian spirit of rich, fruit-forward wines) while “Syrah” is traditionally French. It’s up to each producer which name they want to go with.

It’s not unusual for grapes (and wines made from those grapes) to have several different names, depending on what region they hail from and/or what style they’re made in. For example, Sauvignon Blanc and Fumé Blanc are the same, as are Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris.

—Dr. Vinny

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