Petit Verdot vs Syrah

petit verdot vs syrah wine comparison infographic

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

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

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

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

Petit Verdot Basics: A Robust Blending Grape

petit verdot wine profile infographic - petit verdot vs syrah

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.

Syrah Basics: A Powerful Red

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

Syrah, originating from France, has gained international popularity due to its bold and versatile nature. Today closely connected to renowned winegrowing regions like Rhône Valley and Shiraz in Australia, Syrah 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 Syrah wines.)

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

Being one of the world’s top Syrah producers, France makes Syrah 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 Syrah

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

CharacteristicsPetit VerdotSyrah
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%13.5-15%
IntensityMedium plus to pronouncedPronounced
Key Growing RegionsFrance (Bordeaux), Spain, CaliforniaRhône Valley, Australia, California
Classic PairingsGrilled meats, game, hearty stews, aged cheesesGrilled meats, game, spicy dishes
Price Range$20-$50+$15-$40+

Syrah Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Syrah is typically produced in a dry style, offering minimal residual sugar.
  • Alcohol: Syrah wines generally have a moderate to high alcohol content, ranging from around 13% to 15% ABV.
  • Body: Known for its bold body, Syrah provides a powerful and complex drinking experience.
  • Tannins: Syrah often has high tannin levels, similar to Petit Verdot.
  • Acid: Syrah usually has medium acid, similar to Petit Verdot.
  • Flavors: Syrah 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 Syrah 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 Syrah.
  • Acid: Petit Verdot has medium plus acid, about the same as Syrah.
  • 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 Syrah Similar?

Both Petit Verdot and Syrah 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. Syrah adds color, alcohol, and tannins to Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre blends (also called GSM blends).

What Is the Difference Between Petit Verdot and Syrah?

Petit Verdot has a purple floral note that Syrah doesn’t share. Syrah 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 Syrah wines during blind wine tasting competitions. Fun!

Petit Verdot vs Syrah: Food Pairings and Serving Temperature

petit verdot vs Syrah pairing - steak

Petit Verdot and Syrah 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, vegetables, and hearty stews are what you’re going to want to have with Syrah and Petit Verdot.

Both Petit Verdot and Syrah 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
Syrah Cheese Pairing Guide

Which Is More Expensive: Petit Verdot vs Syrah?

Petit Verdot Cost

  • Entry-level Petit Verdot wines are a little more expensive than entry-level Syrah, 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 Syrah, and so you won’t find extreme value Petit Verdot (under $5 USD), but you can expect to find cheap Syrah in most markets thanks to widespread production.

Syrah Cost

  • Entry-level Syrah wines are typically affordable, ranging from $10 to $20 per bottle. If wine affordability is something you’re thinking about, Syrah is an accessible choice.
  • If you look for premium Syrah, there are higher-priced Syrah 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 Syrah?

If you enjoy 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 Syrah.

Final Thoughts – Petit Verdot or Syrah?

Both Petit Verdot and Syrah 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. This allows you to taste the differences between these wines at the same time.

Grab 2 bottles of similarly priced Petit Verdot and Syrah. 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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