Friday, October 16, 2015

Weekly Geek! About Syrah...

Wow!  According to this, Matthew's a Syrah guy.  They probably heard Daemon squees all the way to the McLaren Vale!  This really excites our Scheming Daemon - it's her personal favorite.  It's a grape whose wines not only reflect the unique profile and feel of the grape but also reflects the personality of the location and  maker.  In the hands of the French, it becomes the famous red Rhône wines of Côte Rotie and Hermitage and Chateauneuf du Pape.

In the hands of our Aussie friends, it is the big, bold, sexy Shiraz.  Petite Sirah, which sounds like it should be related, is a totally different grape and a delicious discussion for another day.   In short, the wines made from the syrah (shiraz) grape are as beautiful as the elusive vampire that loves to drink it.

Syrah in a glass.
Syrah makes an intense wine all the way around.  It's color is a deep violet, nearly black.  Its appearance in the glass by candlelight is mesmerizing.  It has an almost chewy mouth feel and richness, on your tongue.  It's spicy, rather than fruity - aroma is misleading because the wines from Syrah often pack quite a punch - especially the Australian potions.   In short, there's nothing subtle about syrah!  It's been described as sumptuous, lavish, voluptuous, even ‘slutty’!  It's the bad girl of red wines!  And it's a red wine that will make a good girl go bad!  ;-)  If you ever need proof, ask our Scheming Daemon about seven guys, a Penfold's dinner, and free pour Grange when next you see her.  Scandal!
Although cultivated since antiquity, competing claims to the origin of this variety have it either being transplanted from Persia, near the similarly-titled city of Shiraz, or to being a native vine of France. There is evidence that the grape had been grown in the Rhone since the Roman occupation. While DNA testing seems to have disposed of the Persian claim, the Darioush winery of California, whose new world wines celebrate the old world styles of Bordeaux, makes a beautiful Shiraz as a salute to the winery owner's Persian heritage.

Syrah is wonderful on its own but also stands up to hearty food.  Our Daemon loves to pair it with lamb or smoky, grilled meats.  It's also tasty coupled with spicy Moroccan food.  However, a certain vampire may have different ideas!  :-)

Let's just cut to the chase: the drinking suggestions!  These are a few of the daemon's favorite Syrahs/Shirazs. Give syrah a whirl!  It's a peek into Matthew's soul. :-)

This wine always evokes memories of blueberry pancakes on a Sunday morning.

Chateauneuf du Pape is a great starting point for sampling the Rhone's interpretation of syrah - with a range of price points you can ease into it slowly and have a great time exploring.

This is great with or without food and reflects the Aussie's love of fun and witty names for their wines.  Some of them are worth it for the label story alone!
The back label of
"The Ball Buster"
Another Australian - it's an elegant bottle fit for a special meal.

As always, trust your own palate! Taste. Taste. Taste. Drink what YOU enjoy and never apologize about the grape or price point.

Browse the contents of Matthew's cellar:

Learn a little more about syrah here:
Syrah Wine Grapes, Flavor, Character History Wine and Food Pairing Tips

Some pairing ideas:
Northern Rhône Syrah: Foods to Pair and Meals that Call for Northern Rhône Syrah

And just for fun:
Your Wine Astrology Sign!
Wine By Sign

Feed your inner daemons . . . some delicious wine!

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