Petite Sirah vs Cabernet Sauvignon

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Similarities of Petite Sirah & Cabernet Sauvignon

Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon are both full-bodied wines made from robust grapes. They both originate in France but have become even more popular in California. In other words, they are well worth comparing.

Both wines are often used in blending as they have a high concentration of tannins and structure which can complement each other. Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon are also known for their dark color (which is sometimes used to add color to a blend) and high levels of antioxidants. Both varietals have the potential to age very well, developing complex flavours and aromas over time.

In terms of flavour, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon can also have quite similar profiles. You can often find notes of blueberry, blackberry, plum, black pepper and cocoa in both wines. 

Differences of Petite Sirah Versus Cabernet Sauvignon

There are several differences between these two wines, but the most obvious one is their popularity. Cabernet Sauvignon is grown all across the world, while Petite Sirah stocks have all but faded away (particularly at home in France). Petite Sirah originates from Tullins, near Montpellier, while Cabernet likely originated from the Bordeaux region.

Petite Sirah is one of the most tannic wines that you can buy, and although Cabernet Sauvignon is pretty tannic too, it can appear mild in comparison. Petite Sirah can have an intense mouth-drying effect. On the other hand, Cabernet Sauvignon contains higher levels of acid, which gives it more bite and angularity than Petite Sirah. 

How To Distinguish Between Petite Sirah & Cabernet Sauvignon

It may be possible to tell the difference between Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon by color alone. Petite Sirah is an incredibly deep purplish red and should be a shade darker than Cabernet in most cases. 

While they have several similarities in their flavour profiles, it should be possible to distinguish between the wines by taste too. Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its black currant, cassis, and black cherry flavours, with herbal hints of mint and eucalyptus. Petite Sirah, on the other hand, has a more peppery and spicy flavour profile, with softer tannins and notes of black pepper and liquorice. 

Petite Sirah vs Cabernet Sauvignon Comparison Chart

Characteristic Petite Sirah Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweetness Dry Dry
Acidity Medium Medium-High
Tannins High Medium-High
Body Full Full
Tasting Notes Black fruits – blackberry, blueberry and plum. Black pepper, black tea, liquorice and spice. Black fruits – blackcurrants, blackberries and black cherries. Bell pepper, mint, eucalyptus and earthiness.
Popularity 8,100 Monthly Searches 90,500 Monthly Searches
Calories Per Glass 126 calories 120 calories
ABV % 13 – 16% 13.5 – 14.5%

Pairing Food With Petite Sirah & Cabernet Sauvignon

With their high tannin content, both of these red wines can soak up a lot of fat and protein. We all know about the pairing potential of Cabernet and a beef steak, and with Petite Sirah, you have the option of kicking it up another notch. Think about pairing either of these wines with venison steak, lamb, roasted pork, or anything with bold, savory flavours. 

Petite Sirah food pairing

Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing