Archive for June, 2011

Syrah, Sirah or Shiraz? Same grape, different name?

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Syrah, Shiraz or Sirah?So what’s in a name? When it comes to Syrah and Shiraz, it seems not a whole lot! Both Syrah and Shiraz come from the same dark, thick-skinned grape (offspring of the Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche varities). The difference? Local naming conventions hailing from where the grapes are grown. Yes, it’s true vino detectives! The same vines sunning themselves in France’s Rhone Valley as Syrah are moonlighting in Australia under the name Shiraz. It’s a vineyard double life of vintage proportions.

While the grapes may be the same, the soil, the climate, and the conditions are not, and the naming conventions have come to denote not only the region, but a specific style. While both offer a complex but easy to drink wine good for everyday backyard BBQs to an elegant steak, Shiraz has come to denote an approachable but bright and boldly fruit-driven wine with chocolate notes, while Syrah represents a spicier, earthier, complex palate.

Adding to the mix (and the mystery), is Petite Sirah, who is a distant relative of Syrah (or Shiraz, mate). Petite Sirah, commonly referred to as the Durif grape, is cross between Syrah and Peloursin. Jammy, inky and intense with pepper overtones, Petite Sirah offers a fuller flavor but shorter mouth life making it a great blending wine.

So what is it tonight, my fellow vino fanatics? Syrah, Shiraz or Sirah? Take your pick at our Que Syrah, Sirah, Shiraz Thursday Night Tasting 6/23, and enjoy a five wine flight with apps for $18/person.


Davina DaVino

Sustainability in a bottle? Drink local!

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Locals Only Tasting 6/9We’re all doing our part to be a little more green, so why not extend that effort to your vino selection and keep it local? After all, we live in the lap of vineyard luxury in Santa Barbara and Ventura County with some of the finest Zins, Syrahs and Pinots around. By selecting wines from local vineyards, not only are you cutting down on the energy expended in packing, shipping and transport, but you’re supporting our local winemakers and economy. A glass of wine never felt so sustainably good!

Kick off your wine closet sustainability movement and join us this Thursday 6/9 for a “Locals Only!” tasting of some of our neighbor vineyards’ best. We’re pouring our favorites from neighbor Santa Barbara and Ventura County wineries Dragonette Cellars, Four Brix, Jaffurs, and Babcock for your tasting pleasure. Come taste the local bounty and go green!


Davina DaVino