Old Pueblo Wine Club February Meetup - Que Syrah, Syrah!

  • February 16, 2013 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

This will be our first meetup under the new format. People can sign up to the waiting list and we will select 35 participants randomly and let you know you have been selected. Please let us know if you plans change so someone can fill your spot.

The current schedule for OPWC is:

February 16 - Que Syrah, Syrah: Syrah wines from France, Washington, California and Australia. Patrick and Karen Simpson

March 9 - Wines TBD. Don Burdick

April - No event will be planned.

May ? - Wines TBD. Boyd and Christie Stowe

June - Reggae Pool Party

July - Looking for a volunteer for the 35 person tasting.

Sante!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syrah, Shiraz, Sirah ... what's the difference? Historically, it's been simple enough, if a bit confusing, to sort out these similar grape names:

 •Syrah is the great French red-wine variety of the Rhone Valley, a grape that legend traces to the Crusaders but that in reality goes even farther back, probably brought to Gaul by the Romans some 2,000 years ago.

•Shiraz is the name that the Australians gave Syrah, perhaps inspired by that same Crusader legend, which holds - romantically if inaccurately - that the French knight Gaspard de Sterimberg brought the first vines home to his Hermitage vineyard in the Rhone from Shiraz in Persia.

•Sirah-with-an-I - Petite Sirah - is a California grape most likely named by 19th century marketers to evoke the real Syrah. Known in France as Durif and long thought to be unrelated to Syrah, it's now known to be a direct descendant of Syrah, a cross between true Syrah and another little-known French variety, Peloursin. This lineage is further complicated by the fact that some old California "field-blend" vineyards of mixed vines have traditionally been misidentified as Petite Sirah.

All three sound-alike grapes can make similar wines, peppery and robust, but those wines span a considerable spectrum from soft, fruity and slightly sweet to big, tannic and ageworthy. Australia's Shiraz often pushes the limits of fruit-forward, jammy and powerful, while the most memorable Syrahs of the Northern Rhone - Hermitage, Cote-Rotie and Cornas in particular - although big wines also, tend more toward the structured and tannic, astringent but muscular, requiring cellar time. They are somteimes blended with Viognier (white) wine also.

Grown in warm New World climates (or unusually hot European summers), Syrah shows a boldly fruity red-berry nature and may well be vinified with the free-handed use of oak; look for a signature fragrant black-pepper character and plenty of astringent tannin in cooler-climate Syrah.

French Syrahs: The first cultivated vines in the region were probably planted around 600 BC. The origins of the two most important grape varieties in the northern Rhone (Syrah and Viognier) are subject to speculation. Some say the Greeks were responsible for bringing the Syrah grape from the Persian city of Shiraz. Others say the grape came 50 years later when Greeks fled from the Persian king Cyrus I. Yet others say the grape came from the Sicilian city of Syracuse, whence circa 280 AD the Romans brought it and the Viognier grape.  Meanwhile extensive DNA typing and viticultural research has led scientists to conclude that Syrah originated in the Rhône region itself. Northern Rhône reds are presumably more elegant, tannic, smoke-flavoured and restrained with respect to their fruit component.

Australian Shiraz: In 1831, the Scotsman James Busby, often called "the Father of Australian viticulture", made a trip back to Europe to collect cuttings from vines (primarily from France and Spain) for introduction to Australia. One of the varieties collected by him was Syrah, although Busby used the two spellings "Scyras" and "Ciras". The cuttings were planted in the Sydney Botanical Gardens, and in Hunter Valley, and in 1839 brought from Sydney to South Australia. By the 1860s, Syrah was established as an important variety in Australia. Australian Shiraz is presumably made from riper berries, more fruit-driven, higher in alcohol, less obviously tannic, peppery rather than smokey, usually more easily approached when young, and possibly slightly sweetish in impression.

California Syrahs can go either way labeled Syrah or Shiraz (soft or bold) these days, perhaps as a marketing ploy aimed at capturing some of the critical buzz that surrounds the version from Down Under.

Washington Syrah wines: Almost nowhere else in the world will you find higher-quality reds for the price. Certainly not in the Northern Rhône, where similarly serious and beautifully styled Syrahs cost twice as much. And they compare well with those from Down Under, where you often have to pay much more to experience this sort of enjoyment.

This should be fun.

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  • Mark H.

    We always enjoy Keith and Kari with their knowledge, friendship, and great personalities. They are a lot of fun and make a great couple.

    1 · February 17, 2013

    • Nancy

      The new format allowed for a relaxed, enjoyable wine event. Thank you Patrick and Karen for sharing your lovely home and for hosting with Keith and Kari. We had a lot of fun.

      February 18, 2013

  • Deby W

    Thank you to the organizers and hosts. I enjoyed the night and also meeting some new folks.

    February 17, 2013

  • Karen S.

    What fun! Really enjoyed these wines and learning more about Syrah from Keith... and meeting new people and seeing some old people... wait... that didn't come out right! Thanks to Keith and Kari and Mom Nancy for making it so easy on us to host!

    February 17, 2013

  • Joe W.

    Everything was perfect - thanks for a great time - you guys have nailed it with the new format

    February 17, 2013

  • Pam H.

    All were really good wines

    February 17, 2013

  • Patricia K.

    The wine gathering was wonderful. Nice to meet such great people who enjoy wine like I do. Thank you Karen & Patrick for opening you beautiful to all of us. Thank you Keith and Kari for sharing your knowledge of wine with all of us. I'm glad to have been chosen for this event- hope to see all of you again this year.

    1 · February 17, 2013

  • Marshall

    Great show on the Syrahs Keith and Kari. Special thanks to Patrick and Karen for their hospitality.
    Marshall

    1 · February 17, 2013

  • Deborah (Deb) E

    Thank you to Karen and Patrick for hosting and opening up their home to this event. Thank you Keith and Kari (and Nancy) for bringing your love of wine to the event. Grateful that my name was drawn from the hat and enjoyed the evening. I like the new format.

    1 · February 17, 2013

  • eric

    I thought the meetup was great.I really liked the new format.Thank you.

    February 17, 2013

  • Beth H.

    Keith and Kari Love Love the new format Thanks to Karen and Patrick for hosting hoping to be a future events

    February 16, 2013

  • Betsy

    Really enjoyed the format and the company.

    1 · February 16, 2013

  • eric

    I will be there Saturday.I am looking forward to the new format.
    Do we still bring a potluck dish?

    February 15, 2013

    • Beth H.

      but we still bring a cheese to share right????

      February 15, 2013

    • Karen S.

      Yes... bring a cheese of your choice. One will be fine since we have a lot of people bringing cheese!!

      February 16, 2013

  • Maria Z.

    I am so sorry for the late notice but just had some friends come into town today... don't feel right about not spending some time with them. I hope I will be lucky and have my name pulled again.

    February 16, 2013

  • Karen S.

    Hi Everyone... I'm the hostess... As far as parking... We live in a cul de sac so there is some parking but it is a bit limited... You may need to walk a little. If the driveway is open, feel free to park there. Keith says we are just to do bread and crackers here with you bringing your favorite cheese. So, I guess you should consider eating something before you come?? I will have some platters out for the cheese if you don't want to bring one. I would have no problems with someone wanting to bring something to eat if they like or need... especially if you are avoiding bread and cheese for health/weight reasons! I may supplement with hummus and veggies for that reason...

    1 · February 15, 2013

  • Kathleen C.

    Hi Keith - Sorry, I would LOVE to attend & have been looking forward to it, but have two emergency situations with my parents and now I am looking after 12 pets!! But I would love to hear all the details! Kathleen

    February 15, 2013

  • Kevin J.

    Keith - I am dealing with a health issue and cannot make it to this event. We will miss learning more about wine this time. But please give our spot to another wine lover.

    February 15, 2013

  • Mike C.

    I won't be back in town for this. :(

    February 14, 2013

  • Alan

    I look forward to testing the great selection of wines and meeting everyone.

    February 11, 2013

  • Deborah (Deb) E

    Will be there Saturday.

    February 11, 2013

  • Robert M.

    OOPS, forgot the word "see" in how do........

    February 11, 2013

  • Robert M.

    Keith, there are Syrahs from various South American countries. How do you those regions fitting in with the nice explanation (you provided) of the European, Australian and West Coast varities of this rather complex grape?? See you all Saturday!

    February 11, 2013

  • eric

    keith,I thought I signed up as a plus one.amI not selected as a plus one?

    February 8, 2013

  • Patricia K.

    I am excited to be a part of this wine event.

    February 4, 2013

  • Alan

    Very interested, please open a place for me

    February 1, 2013

  • rick s.

    VERY WELL RESEARCHED, excellent explanation, Thank you.

    January 29, 2013

  • keith f.

    Here is a good article on Syrah. Couple of points:

    Syrah is now better understood by producers.
    The effect of terroir on Syrah is now better understood.
    The Australians have rediscovered restraint when it comes to Syrah.
    The French have abandoned restraint when it comes to Syrah.

    http://www.snooth.com/articles/syrah-has-its-time-come/?utm_campaign=9036&utm_medium=email&utm_source=all&utm_content=20279.

    Interesting. Sante!

    January 29, 2013

  • Kristin H.

    Pick me! I have been a chicken and have not RSVP'd to any events but I am ready to "come out" and have fun!

    January 28, 2013

  • keith f.

    Since some folks asked, I wanted to provide some additional information on our new format. On Feb. 1, we will print out the names on the waiting list and cut their names into pieces of paper and draw from a hat (very high tech). Those folks will be notified via e-mail. If they can't make it, please remove your name and we'll add others to fill out the 35 limit. We obviously won't split up couple and if you signed up for a +1, then you will have 2 slots.
    Hope this helps.
    Sante!

    1 · January 27, 2013

  • Linda D.

    Why does it say only 3 attending?

    January 27, 2013

  • Gloria

    Out of town plans that weekend.

    January 22, 2013

  • Christie S.

    +1

    January 21, 2013

  • rick s.

    thought we were drawing for spots?

    January 21, 2013

  • eric

    +1

    January 20, 2013

  • Claudia

    Hi Kieth, I wanted to vounteer for the July meetup if you still need a place. Claudia

    January 20, 2013

  • Randi

    Bummer, I will be in Mesa. Sorry to miss the virgin meetup of this type. I will try for the next one. Have fun.

    January 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Someone can have my 2 spots. Unfortunately, a conflict developed and I can't attend, and I love Syrahs!
    Enjoy,
    Jan Acorn

    January 20, 2013

  • Elizabeth

    +1

    January 20, 2013

  • keith f.

    I forgot to mention about food. No need for potluck on this event. Just bring some cool, unique cheese. Sante!

    1 · January 19, 2013

  • Karen S.

    Karen and Patrick have to be there!!

    January 19, 2013

  • Nikki

    Hiking that weekend.

    January 19, 2013

  • Kevin J.

    The new format sounds great to learn more about wine!

    January 19, 2013

  • Patricia K.

    Would love to come enjoy some wine with great company .

    January 19, 2013

  • Joe W.

    +1

    January 19, 2013

  • Tom

    On a backpacking adventure. Have fun!

    January 19, 2013

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