Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Year of Syrah

Happy New Year Everybody!

Every past year's end spurs new ideas and resolutions. I am quite content and inspired at how I've grown in the last year; It opened with a fit of madness in a square in Florence that was followed by a couple months exploring the Renaissance city and its environs, a stint on a farmstead in the Umbrian Countryside, and a brief respite at home in Cedarburg. Soon-after I moved to Minneapolis to commence a new chapter in the city and a new wine-buying job in the North Suburbs. My job is steady and life is good, and I look forward to the year to come.

We had a meeting today at work focusing on projections for the new year. It has been deemed, unofficially, as 'the year of wine'. I hope that as the economy takes an upturn, that wine will continue to grow in the daily lives of my friends, family and customers. It has led me, inadvertently to come up with my own new year's wine resolution (among others). Drink more SYRAH! While I've honed in on the popular tastes and trends of the wine-drinking public, I feel that this lovely, large grape has so much unexplored and forgotten potential as a whole. My goal is to drink more of it, learn more about where it comes from, how its made, its history, and pass that on to anyone I can. From Hawke's Bay in New Zealand, to blends in the Rhone region of France, the beefy Shiraz's of Australia, or the progressive juice in Washington, there's much to be said, and discovered.

I'm about to uncork a bottle of 2008 Zepaltas Rosella's Vineyard Syrah from the Santa Lucia Higlands in central California. Although I'm partial to this producer, one of my favorites not only because I worked there, but because the wines truly tell a story, the bounty that awaits is tickling my tongue. Such a versatile food and party wine with quite a bit of character, there's no reason that people should say, 'Syrah sucks'! It's complex enough to baffle in a blind tasting, yet in the New World, approachable enough to quench the palates of the more pedestrian palate. Therefore, I hereby declare 2011 as 'The Year of Syrah'. Bear, and drink with me friends. We are in for an interesting and enlightening next few months.