Shiraz vs Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon vs Pinot Noir

shiraz-vs-merlot-vs-cabernet-sauvignon-vs-pinot-noir-wine-rack

Shiraz (Syrah), Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir are all classic red wines grown and sold around the world. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of these classic red wines:

CharacteristicsShirazMerlotCabernet SauvignonPinot Noir
HueDeep purple to blackDeep ruby redDeep ruby redLight to medium ruby red
ColorRedRedRedRed
AromasBlackberry, plum, black pepper, spicesRed cherry, plum, chocolate, herbsBlackcurrant, cassis, cedar, mintRed cherry, raspberry, floral, earthy
TanninsHighMediumHighLow to medium
AcidMediumMediumMedium to highMedium to high
Alcohol (%)14-16%13-15%13-15%12-14%
BodyFullMediumFullLight to medium
IntensityPronouncedModeratePronouncedModerate
Key Growing RegionsAustralia (Barossa), South AfricaFrance (Bordeaux), ItalyFrance (Bordeaux), Napa ValleyFrance (Burgundy), Oregon
Classic PairingsGrilled meats, spicy dishesRoast chicken, pasta, soft cheeseSteak, lamb, hearty stewsDuck, salmon, mushroom dishes
Price Range$15-$50$10-$40$20-$100$20-$60

You will be able to find entry-level wines as well as premium bottles for each of these varietals, so don’t let price be your deciding factor.

Look at the different structural elements of the wines and the flavors and let that guide you.

Here’s more information about each:

Complete Syrah Wine Guide
Complete Merlot Wine Guide
Complete Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Guide
Complete Pinot Noir Wine Guide

So, what do you feel like drinking tonight?

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