I always thought that Shiraz and Syrah were different wine varietals. I was definitely, completely, and utterly wrong! Believe it or not, Shiraz and Syrah are the EXACT SAME type of wine.
In the U.S., France, and some other countries, we prefer to call the wine Syrah, while in Austrailia (where it is the most popular wine varietal), they use the word Shiraz. Why have these countries adopted different names for the same wine? To understand this better, I scoured the internet and found some interesting information at winelabels.org.
"Syrah is the French pronunciation and Shiraz is the Australian pronunciation of the same root word. And that root word is probably a corruption of the ancient name for the old capital of Persia - Shiraz
It is likely James Busby brought the original vines to Australia from France in 1832. At that time the name was spelled as 'SCYRAS.' Try pronouncing scyras in an Australian accent. Now try pronouncing it the way the French would do, not saying the last letter of the word. It got transmuted in Australia to Shiraz and Syrah in France
Recently in California fans of Rhone wines have begun using the name Syrah for wines made in the French style, while other winemakers use Shiraz for new world style wines.
Not documented is the link with the ancient city Shiraz. But this area had some of the worlds earliest vineyards and some people argue the Phoenicians bought the vines to Marseilles."
So there you have it. Next time you're drinking a Shiraz, you're also drinking a Syrah- and vice versa!