What Is the Difference Between Merlot and Shiraz?


Quick Answer

Merlot and Shiraz are red wine varietals that differ in body, flavor profile and growing locations. Merlot tends to be fruit-forward and smooth, while Shiraz tends to be earth-forward with more tannins.

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Full Answer

Merlot grapes are commonly grown in the Bordeaux region of France and moister climates of California, Washington and Italy. Merlot wines are typically medium-bodied with flavors of plum, berries, cherry and chocolate.

Shiraz, which is synonymous with Syrah, is a bold, full-bodied red varietal. Shiraz wines are typically earthy, peppery, smoky and herbal. Shiraz tends to be high in tannins, giving it a gritty mouthfeel. Shiraz is widely grown throughout the Rhone region of France, and in Australia and California.

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