Petite Sirah vs Syrah: Which Wine is Right for You?

Petite Sirah vs Syrah

Syrah and Petite Sirah wine have so many similarities in spelling and pronunciation that you may believe they’re the same grape or same wine. Or you may believe that Petite Sirah is just a smaller (petite) Syrah.

Though they are often confused, Petite Sirah and Syrah are actually two very different grape varieties. However, Petite Sirah and Syrah wines can be very similar in taste and aroma.

In this blog post, we will compare Syrah and Petite Sirah wines. We will discuss the differences and similarities between these two grape varietals. And we will also give you some tips on how to choose the right wine for your palate.

So, read on to learn more about Petite Sirah vs Syrah!

Table of Contents

Petite Sirah wines

Petite Sirah, also known as Durif in California, is a red wine grape that was created in the 19th century by crossing two varieties of grapes: Syrah and Peloursin.

The wine is named after the French word petite, meaning small, and Sirah, which was the original name for the Syrah grape. And the grape’s name, Petite Sirah, comes from the berry size and not the vine, which is exceptionally robust. These tiny berries generate a high skin to juice ratio, which can make very tannic wines.

It is one of the darkest wines that are typically full bodied with intense flavors and high tannins. Petite Sirah wines are often described as having flavors of dark fruits of blackberry, plum, dark chocolate, and notes of black pepper. New oak barrels may give the wine a chocolate aroma.

syrah australian wines labeled shiraz

Syrah, also called Shiraz in Australia, is a red varietal wine that originated in the Rhone Valley of France and is now grown in many regions around the world. Some of the most popular regions for Syrah wines include Australia (their most popular variety), the Rhone Valley in France, and California in the United States.

It produces full-bodied wines with high tannins and acidity. Syrah wines are often described as having blueberry, plum, pepper, and spice flavors.

Syrahs from France are known for their high acidity and earthy aromas, whereas Syrah wines from Australia, and the United States tend to be fruit-forward with plenty of spice.

Traditionally in France, the classic Côtes du Rhône blend is a GSM blend. This is a beautiful blend of Syrah, light-bodied Grenache, and richer Mourvedre.

Petite Sirah vs Syrah

Petite Sirah vs Syrah comparisons

What are the Similarities Between Petite Sirah and Syrah?

Both wines are:

  • Dry with high tannins and medium to high acidity
  • Full-bodied
  • Intense dark fruit flavors and notes of pepper
  • Can benefit from being aged in oak barrels to offset the high tannins
  • Pair well with red meat

What are the Differences Between Petite Sirah and Syrah?

  • Two different varietals – Petite Sirah is a cross between Syrah and Peloursin, whereas Syrah is its own grape varietal
  • Petite Sirah is typically more full-bodied than Syrah, with more tannins and acidity with a heavier mouthfeel.
  • Petite Sirah grapes are smaller and darker colored than Syrah grapes thereby creating higher tannins
  • Petite Sirah is grown mainly in California, while Syrah is grown in France, Australia, and California

What Wine is Similar to Petite Sirah?

Some wines that are similar to Petite Sirah include Zinfandel, Amarone, and Barolo. These wines all share similarities with Petite Sirah in terms of their full-bodied nature and high tannin levels. However, each of these wines has its own unique flavor profile that sets it apart from Petite Sirah.

Zinfandel, for example, is a fruity wine with flavors of dark fruits like raspberry and blackberry. Amarone is a rich and bold wine with flavors of dark fruits and spices. And Barolo is a complex wine with aromas of truffle, rose petal, and leather.

Is Petite Syrah Full bodied?

pinot noir vs cabernet sauvignon body full bodied red wine

Yes, Petite Sirah is full bodied. It’s actually even more full-bodied than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a dark and intense wine with high tannin levels. Therefore you should decant Petite Sirah for at least 30 minutes to over an hour.

Is Petite Sirah dry or sweet?

Petite Sirah is a dry wine. It is not sweet.

red wine sweetness chart

Which Petite Sirah Should You Buy?

Petite Sirah recommendations

Which Syrah Should You Buy?

Syrah recommendations

We independently select and recommend the best products. So when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change by sellers at anytime 


If you’re looking for a wine with intense flavors and high tannins, then Petite Sirah or Syrah wine might be the right wine for you. These wines are full-bodied with dark fruit flavors and can benefit from being aged in oak barrels. And they both pair very well with red meat.

And while they share many similarities, there are also some key differences between these two wines. Petite Sirah is typically more full-bodied than Syrah, with more tannins and acidity. And finally, the Petite Sirah grape is smaller and darker colored than those for Syrah.

So, if you’re looking for a full-bodied and intense wine, then Petite Sirah or Syrah might be the right choice for you. Cheers!

Related Articles

More Posts

best lunch in napa

12 Best Lunch Spots In Napa

Best Lunch In Napa – Our 12 Favorite Spots! Lunch is a must when you’re out wine tasting! Whether you’re in the mood for a

Böen Pinot Noir

Böen Pinot Noir – WineO Mark Review

Böen Pinot Noir – WineO Mark Review Wine Stats Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir Vintage: 2021 ABV: 14.6% Wine Region: California Flavor Profile: Cherry, raspberry, blackberry,