A Bit Spicy: Enjoying Syrah Wine

Syrah Sign By GrapevinesAre you looking to spice up your wine experience? Look no further than Syrah wine, a full-bodied red that is packed with strong flavors and will accentuate the taste of many of your favorite foods. Originating from the Rhone region in France, Syrah wine has been around for centuries and held in high regard in many parts of the world. To help you learn more about this bold wine, Columbia Distributing provides an in-depth profile.

History of Syrah

This wine receives its name from the small, egg-shaped Syrah grape, which is planted all over the world. Where it was first discovered is unknown, however. Ancient Romans are thought to have first planted the grape, but it is possible that the Greeks beat them to it over 500 years earlier. The bulk of Syrah planting has centered in the Rhone region of France due to its steep and rocky hillsides.

In the early 1800s, wines made from the Syrah grape were very popular and ranked amongst the most expensive wines in the world. They were first planted in the United States in 1878, along the Central Coast of California. Now, growing Syrah is popular in California, Oregon and Washington.

Syrah has been in high demand lately, with over 70,000 hectares planted today, a huge increase from the 2,000 planted in 1960. That astonishing number makes it the sixth most planted grape in the world.

Taste Profile

The dense and full-bodied feel of Syrah wine offers a powerful impact. There are several prominent flavor notes displayed in Syrah wine, including blueberry, olive, plum and pepper. Certain areas of the world emphasize specific flavors more than others, creating a distinction between Old World and New World Syrah.

  • Old World: More acidic with earthy and herbaceous aromas, stems from countries such as Italy and France
  • New World: Features flavors focused more on fruit and spice and comes from regions like the United States, Australia and South America

Be sure to taste Syrah wine from a variety of regions to find the style that you enjoy the most. This Old World vs. New World distinction is consistent across most wines and can help you shop for varieties that you like more easily.

Food Pairings

Once you have a bottle of your favorite Syrah wine, complete the experience with a delicious meal. Given the full-bodied taste profile of Syrah, you want to find food that matches that boldness. Soft and pungent cheeses, like blue cheese or gorgonzola, fit perfectly, as they also help absorb the tannins in the wine.

You may not think that wine is the best beverage to bring to a backyard barbecue, but the earthy and smoky flavors in Syrah also make it an excellent pairing with many grilled meats. Sausage, lamb, pork and even hamburgers will help bring out the fruity notes and peppery aftertaste in the wine. Try spicing your meats with lavender, fennel and thyme to accentuate these flavors even more.

Serving Tip: As a red wine, Syrah is best enjoyed at room temperature, from 60° to 68° Fahrenheit. Let the wine decant for about an hour before serving to bring out the aromas and let the tannins soften. That should create the best possible feel and flavor for you and your guests to enjoy.

Bring Some Spice to Your Life

After learning about the best ways to enjoy Syrah wine, are you ready to try it for yourself? Whether you’re stocking a bar or preparing for a special gathering, you’ll want to choose a few varieties to share and savor. Browse the beverages offered by Columbia Distributing to make your selection, or contact us for more information.