A Sommelier's wine secrets
Syrah is one of my favorite wines to make and drink. Shiraz, on the other hand, is not one of the wines on my list of favorites. I find this amazing since the wine is made from the same grape. It’s just the climate and winemaker that creates the vast differences in the style, aroma and flavors of the wine. Rhône style Syrah wine possesses a certain elegance, along with an earthiness and notes of black current, white pepper, violet and olive. On the other end of the spectrum, Shiraz wine possesses a denser, fruit forward and tannic characteristic with notes of blackberry, plum, jam, violet and licorice. One grape, two totally different wines.
The Secret Sommelier
Sometimes Sommeliers just want to drink and not think, so letting someone else pair wine for you is the best treat ever. On a recent lunch trip to Spago Beverly Hills, I decided not act like a knowledgeable wine professional, but to sit in the passenger seat and let someone else drive for a little while. Well, I was so impressed by the outstanding experience that I decided it warranted writing a blog about it. In fact, this little episode has blossomed into a new road show for me that I’m going to call The Secret Sommelier. Every once in a while, when I’m dining out, I’m going to keep my wine knowledge to myself, be a careful observer and later blog about my wine pairing experience.
To give you a little background, Spago was the first restaurant that famous Chef Wolfgang Puck opened in 1982 and has remained an LA dining destination ever since. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Spago wine list is the most extensive and comprehensive in Los Angeles. This 65-page book of wines is daunting even for the most hard-core wine professional, so it made sense for this to be my first stop.