When you don't know what to expect from a wine, more often than not you simply avoid it. It's a natural reaction and one the wine industry has not done enough to combat. How could they? Simply through education and some agreement on terms. For example, the global adoption of Shiraz for a more fruit-driven style was a step in the right direction in my book.
With the trouble that the Australia wine industry has faced as of late, many producers are now a little gun shy about being associated with Shiraz. I think that's sad. It's more of a marketing decision and does not help the consumer. Yes, the market for Shiraz has been shrinking, but it has not disappeared. Doing what you can to help define it will only make the market stronger.
So without further ado, let's discuss Shiraz and Syrah!