This is a strange time for drinking habits.
Two things are happening:
1) People are committing to Dry January. Hitting reset on their Holiday consumption.
2) Others are saying, “This is the year I’m going to commit wine learning.” About to level up their wine game.
Whichever way you’ve decided to start the year, I want to help.
Here are my tips to help you go wine-free or dive deep into wine learning.
1) Commit to Dry January
You’re headed into the first weekend since the Holidays, and that glass of wine is tempting you.
Hold off. You can do without the wine for now.
But, I know what you’re saying:
“What do I do with my hands?”
Here are three beverage options for you:
a) Sparkling water and tea are the easy and essential options. Plus, they give you the “sophistication” of wine without the hangover. Order them during your next meal.
b) If your options are limited, go with club soda and a lemon and lime. Looks like a cocktail, fools everyone.
c) If you can, buy a bottle of Seedlip’s Non-Alcoholic Gins. You can make the perfect Gin-less & Tonic—all the fizz, no buzz.
If you’re interested in other zero-proof alternatives, you can read more here.
2) Commit to Wine Learning
It’s not long after you commit to wine learning, that the overwhelm of information rushes over you.
But again, I’m here to help.
For example, a friend and subscriber, Mike, recently texted me:
I’d love a list of 3-5 of your go to syrah (besides the shirazes in your recent email). Would like to try some that aren’t my usual GSM go to. Maybe the next email!
So, here we go:
2019 Wonderwall Syrah
I popped this on my birthday, as Syrah is my favorite grape and Andrew Jones is one of my favorite winemakers.
After sipping it over two nights, it’s everything I want in a Syrah. Power, balance, layers of dark fruit, touch of olive, violets and restrained alcohol.
Rhone Syrah’s From Kermit Lynch
When I started compiling a list of favorite Syrahs, especially for the money, the producers Faury and Marsanne came top of mind.
After making the Kermit Lynch connection, the importer of these wines, I thought of Gramenon and Barruol / Lynch. All of these are great, classic examples ranging from 28-100+ USD.
If I had to pick one to start with it would be 2020 Saint Joseph Rouge Lionel Faury. These wines really start to show after a couple years cellared, so long decant or drink it over a couple of days.
The close second: 2018 Saint-Joseph Rouse Jean-Claude Marsanne. Same rules of enjoyment apply.
With Syrah, you’ll meet a producer who suits your style. Without fail, Stolpman meets me exactly where I want to be.
Their Hilltops Syrah is special, and the 2018 and 2019 vintages were outstanding. Give a great producer some amazing fruit and magic happens.
This wine doesn’t miss. At around 50 USD, it’s a treat that punches about its weight.
Syrah Keys To Enjoyment
- Be Patient. Syrah tends to be shy in the bottle. If you’re disappointed on first pour, give it some air.
- Watch the alcohol %. It’s hard to find red wines under 14% these days (thanks global warming), but I think that Syrah does best when kept in check.
- 20+ USD is the price of poker. Wine prices are going up, and there aren’t many Syrahs worth your time under 30.
- Get grilling, and get exotic. Syrah, especially those from France, really show their potential alongside food with grilled meats and intense herbal flavors.
How Can I Help You?
What wine question do you have?
Hit reply and ask away.
I’ll answer in an upcoming email.
Ready to commit to wine learning?
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