Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is Shiraz a Burgundy or a Bordeaux wine?
—Sande, Elizabethtown, Ky.
The quick answer is neither. Shiraz is the name of a grape (also known as Syrah), and you’ll see that name on some bottles of wine made from that grape. Whether or not you see the name “Shiraz” or “Syrah” on the label can also give you some clues as to where it was made: Most Australian winemakers use the name Shiraz, as well as many South African winemakers, while the name Syrah is traditionally used in most other parts of the world. Keep in mind, however, that many European wines will not have grape names prominently displayed on the labels—the Syrah-based red wines from France’s Rhône Valley are one such example.
Like the Rhône Valley, Burgundy and Bordeaux are both wine regions in France, but Shiraz/Syrah grapes are not grown in either of those two regions. Check out our ABCs of Bordeaux and Burgundy videos for more on those two regions!