Petit Verdot vs Shiraz

petit verdot vs shiraz wine comparison infographic

Petit Verdot vs Shiraz is a great wine comparison because they’re both strong red wines.

Petit Verdot and Shiraz both have high tannins and a firm structure. Petit Verdot has a floral note, and Shiraz has black pepper. Both are big wines.

TL;DR: If you enjoy Shiraz, you’ll most likely like Petit Verdot wines, too.

Here’s what you need to know about Petit Verdot vs Shiraz wines.

Petit Verdot Basics: A Robust Blending Grape

petit verdot wine profile infographic - petit verdot vs shiraz

Petit Verdot, originating from Bordeaux as well, provides a bold and robust experience. While historically used as a blending grape, Petit Verdot has gained recognition for its individual character.

Its flavor profile encompasses dark fruit, such as blackberry and plum, coupled with hints of spice and a touch of floral aromatics. Here’s the complete Petit Verdot guide.

Fun Wine Fact: Petit Verdot, translating to “little green,” alludes to the late ripening of its small, thick-skinned berries.

Shiraz Basics: A Powerful Red

what's shiraz wine taste like - petit verdot vs shiraz

Shiraz (a.k.a., Syrah), comes from France, and has gained international popularity due to its bold and versatile nature. Today it’s closely connected to Australia. Shiraz presents a robust flavor profile with intense fruit notes and a hint of spice. It is renowned for its bold body, offering a powerful and complex drinking experience. (Here’s a deep dive into Shiraz wines.)

Fun Wine Fact: Shiraz is known as Syrah outside of Australia. Despite the different names, both refer to the same grape variety.

Being one of the world’s top Shiraz producers, Australia makes Shiraz at various price points, making it a versatile wine for different occasions. You’ll also find higher-end selections crafted by renowned producers that exhibit more expressiveness and depth on the palate.

Let price be your guide.

Wine Comparison: Petit Verdot vs Shiraz

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of the most common styles of Petit Verdot and Shiraz wine.

CharacteristicsPetit VerdotShiraz
HueDeep purple to almost blackDeep red to purple
AromasDark fruit, violet, herbalDark fruits, black pepper, smoke, olive
AcidMedium plus to highMedium
Alcohol (%)14-15.5%14-15%
IntensityMedium plus to pronouncedPronounced
Key Growing RegionsFrance (Bordeaux), Spain, CaliforniaAustralia
Classic PairingsGrilled meats, game, hearty stews, aged cheesesGrilled meats, game, spicy dishes
Price Range$20-$50+$15-$40+

Shiraz Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Shiraz is typically produced in a dry style, offering minimal residual sugar. Inexpensive Shiraz wines may be off-dry.
  • Alcohol: Shiraz wines generally have a medium to high alcohol content, ranging from around 13% to 15% ABV.
  • Body: Known for its bold, full body, Shiraz provides a powerful and complex drinking experience.
  • Tannins: Shiraz often has high tannin levels, similar to Petit Verdot.
  • Acid: Shiraz usually has medium acid, similar to Petit Verdot.
  • Flavors: Shiraz exhibits robust flavors and aromas, with intense dark fruit notes and hints of spice. The flavor profile often includes blackberry, black pepper, dark chocolate, and sometimes a touch of smoked meat or leather.

Helpful Tip: Winemakers for both Petit Verdot and Shiraz often use oak during winemaking. Here’s what oak contributes to wine.

Petit Verdot Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Petit Verdot wines are dry.
  • Alcohol: Petit Verdot wines typically have a higher alcohol content, ranging from around 14% to 15.5% ABV.
  • Body: Petit Verdot is known for its full body and robust structure, similar to Shiraz.
  • Acid: Petit Verdot has medium plus acid, about the same as Shiraz.
  • Tannins: Petit Verdot showcases firm and gripping tannins, adding to its powerful and bold character.
  • Flavors: The flavor profile often includes dark fruit notes like blackberry and plum, accompanied by hints of herbs and purple floral undertones.

Helpful Tip: Pop over to this 30-second tasting tip to learn how to taste wine tannins.

Are Petit Verdot and Shiraz Similar?

Both Petit Verdot and Shiraz wines are rich and full-bodied with dark fruit flavors. Both wines are often oaked, with mocha, coffee, and chocolate notes. They both have similar alcohol levels and high tannins.

Both are used in blends. Petit Verdot adds color, floral notes, and a middle-palate mouthfeel to Bordeaux blends. Shiraz adds color, alcohol, and tannins to Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre blends (also called GSM blends).

What Is the Difference Between Petit Verdot and Shiraz?

Petit Verdot has a purple floral note that Shiraz doesn’t share. Shiraz has a signature black pepper quality that Petit Verdot won’t have.

Fun Wine Fact: Black pepper is often the key flavor and aroma that wine tasters use to pick out Shiraz wines during blind wine tasting competitions. Fun!

Petit Verdot vs Shiraz: Food Pairings and Serving Temperature

petit verdot vs shiraz pairing - steak

Petit Verdot and Shiraz Food Pairing: Both of these wines have strong tannins and robust bodies that need to be paired with protein- and fat-rich dishes. Grilled and roasted meats, grilled vegetables, and hearty, rich stews are what you’re going to want to have with Shiraz and Petit Verdot.

Both Petit Verdot and Shiraz are best enjoyed at slightly below room temperature. Place them in a cool, dark place for a while before serving.

Discover More:
Red Wine and Cheese Pairing: What You Need to Know
Shiraz Cheese Pairing Guide

Which Is More Expensive: Petit Verdot vs Shiraz?

Petit Verdot Cost

  • Entry-level Petit Verdot wines are a little more expensive than entry-level Shiraz, around $20 to $30 per bottle. These wines provide a robust and flavorful experience at a reasonable cost.
  • On the premium side, Petit Verdot from boutique producers commands prices ranging from $35 to $50 or higher.

Helpful Wine Buying Tip: Petit Verdot wines aren’t as widely produced as Shiraz, and so you won’t find extreme value Petit Verdot (under $5 USD), but you can expect to find cheap Shiraz in most markets thanks to widespread production.

Shiraz Cost

  • Entry-level Shiraz wines are typically affordable, ranging from $10 to $20 per bottle. If wine affordability is something you’re thinking about, Shiraz is an accessible choice.
  • If you look for premium Shiraz, there are higher-priced Shiraz wines available. These bottles, priced around $25 to $50 or higher, offer a more complex and nuanced drinking experience.

Helpful Tip: Here’s how a bottle of wine gets priced. This post is a little nerdy, but it’s quite complicated and nuanced depending on where you are in the world and where you’re buying your wine.

Which Is Better Petit Verdot or Shiraz?

If you love bold, robust red wine with tannin and floral undertones, then Petit Verdot is the better wine. If you prefer a full-bodied wine with a smoke, olive, and spice, then stick with Shiraz.

Final Thoughts – Petit Verdot or Shiraz?

Both Petit Verdot and Shiraz are big red wines that you should know about if you enjoy this wine style.

I’m a believer in side-by-side tastings to tease out the different wine characteristics. A great way to get started with these two wines is to do a side-by-side comparison of both Petit Verdot and Shiraz. This allows you to taste the differences between these wines at the same time.

Grab 2 bottles of similarly priced Petit Verdot and Shiraz. Invite over a few friends and enjoy an evening of swirling and sipping.

Helpful Tip: These are both food wines. Make sure you have something to eat along with them.

Thirsty for More?

I’m a big believer in doing side-by-side tastings to boost your wine knowledge. Here’s how to host your own wine tasting for beginners.

Check out this post on Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot, another popular red wine, along with Cabernet Sauvignon vs Malbec, and Shiraz vs Merlot.

You should be able to find delicious wines at every price point. Check out this post on how to find great wines under $50.

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