Welcome to our newest series, The Somm Set. Each month we’ll be sitting down with a guest sommelier and uncovering their guilty pleasures, cellar staples, and everything in between! Follow as they hand-select their favorites from our warehouse, giving you the inside scoop on cellar must-haves!
This month on The Somm Set, we’re excited to feature Advanced Sommelier Jodi Bronchtein of Press Napa Valley. Join us as we explore everything from her aha-moment sip of wine to her current adventures in the Napa Valley.
Read Our Full Interview With Jodi Bronchtein
Jodi Bronchtein on Under The Radar Napa Bangers
Antinori Family Raid Y(our) Cellar Virtual Tasting
The Somm Set Home
This week from Jodi Bronchtein:
I trust this first official week of fall finds you well, enjoying the cooler weather and looking for something to drink.
Syrah. This powerhouse of a grape keeps its personality intact regardless of where it is grown and regardless of winemaker influence. A shapeshifter with a sultry moral code? Yes.
Syrah is music, art, and poetry to me more than any other grape. A melding of senses in the most synesthetic way; it is percussion and passion, elegance, and smoke. In what way, you say?
When I drink Syrah, I see the blue-black dusk, smell campfire, taste roasted meat, and feel tied bundles of herbs in my hands waiting to be added to a boiling pot. And what do you hear? Perhaps some of these songs/videos I compiled to pair with Syrah. All over the musical map, but with a similar core. (check out my Syrah playlist here)
People forget about Syrah as a dynamic choice for their house red. Want a grape that serves up lush fruit and peppery herbs without brutal tannin and Cult Cab prices? Australian Shiraz (same as Syrah!) fits the bill. It will have the full-bodied palate you want, with a completely different finish. Want a glass that adds savory notes, lean minerality, and brightness to a meal? Northern Rhone. In between these styles, look to Central Coast California and Washington State.
So what else is Syrah?
Meaty. Grilled, bloody, bacon fat, cured salumi.
Crushed dried herbs.
Bruised black and blue fruit.
Alllll the pepper in different intensities, colors, and forms; Au Poivre, green peppercorn, finely ground, dried, crushed.
Eucalyptus, mint, rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage.
Cumulative, long, haunting, surprising finish.
Add some Syrah/Shiraz to your cellar and try it paired with midnight, music, and anything you braise, roast, or grill. No screens. Just the wine, the night, the music. Syrah is something different, made for the table, the glass, and something to be deeply savored and lingered over. Check out the producers doing it justice below.
Check out all the wines mentioned below!