Shiraz and Merlot are amongst the most popular and widely loved red grape varieties of Australia. Both of them are dark-skinned grapes that produce distinct & flavoursome wines expressing marvellous characters & features. Below are given some of the most notable differences between these vibrant and juicy grape types –
Merlot is a delicate, fleshy and early ripening grape. Wines crafted using these plush grapes are fun and easy-drinking wines. Merlot wines are sweeter in style – but keep in mind that they are fruit-sweet, not sugar-sweet. These dark to light red hued varietals have a medium-bodied palate, with delicate and fruity elements floating within. Berry, currant and plum flavours are characteristic to these tannin-filled wines. With a smooth & velvety mouthfeel, Merlot is wine for the uninitiated to take their first dip into the world of wines!
Merlot varietals & blends can be paired with all kinds of food. Fruitier and softer Merlots with a higher acidic level match well with mushroom and salmon, while light-weighted Merlots make excellent pairings with scallops, prawns & bacon.
Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully & McLaren Vale are a few Australian regions where the Merlot grape thrives. In New Zealand, Merlot plantings can be found in Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Martinborough, and Auckland.
Shiraz is a ripe and full-flavoured grape. Shiraz wines are usually full-bodied, much more intense than the fruity Merlot styles. These dense, hearty and dark wines are bold & sophisticated in nature, with earthy nuances of truffle, leather, and pepper evident in its powerful & energetic palate. Shiraz being extremely versatile, can be popped open anytime and anywhere – its robust & tannic flavours are always a delight to consume!
Shiraz wines go well with hearty red meats, thick stews, juicy steaks and wild game meats.
The mighty Barossa is perhaps the most well-known region for the production of Aussie Shiraz. Other famous Australian wine regions include McLaren Vale, Heathcote, Clare Valley & Hunter Valley.
Whichever of the two you prefer – both of these are marvellous drinks to consume, whatever be the occasion.