California is normally a rosé all day, all year type of place. But this year we have been getting some serious rain! And rain makes me want to drink wine! So I thought I’d share some of my favorite rainy day wines with you.
First up, Syrah. Why does Syrah pair so perfectly with rain? It can be smoky, peppery, evoke luscious dark fruit and sometimes minerality that pairs with a warm fire going in your fireplace and with the smell of wet pavement or wet stones and soil.
I love that there can be so many different expressions of Syrah that come out of the Central Coast area - lovely fruit driven Syrah with higher alcohol that warms you up from the inside out. Or more earthy, dark, spicy Syrah that evokes a cozy feeling as soon as you take a sniff. Melt into your couch with a glass (or a bottle, we don't judge) and just let the rain and wine wash over you.
Now, what Syrah *should* you be drinking? Some of my current favorites?
Black Bear Syrah from Zaca Mesa in the Santa Ynez valley. I have several bottles of this wine from different vintages and I've been saving them for a special occasion. But sometimes a rainy night is the perfect special-ordinary occasion. Honestly, we need to stop saving wine for a “special” occasion. Every day is a special occasion, and there’s usually more than one special wine that you can pick from to open. So stop hoarding your wine, the vast majority of wine is not meant to be aged anyway. Drink it up while it’s fresh and yummy, if that’s what you like.
Tolosa from San Luis Obispo also has a great Syrah- a little more of a cool climate take. Another standout is one I just tasted this past weekend at Le Vigne in Paso Robles. Those should all line you up for a great afternoon or evening.
But, I’m not really a Syrah person, you say. Never fear I have more suggestions!
Rioja or Tempranillo is another great option for those of you who aren't in to Syrah but want to still drink red wine. Halter Ranch in Paso Robles has a good Tempranillo that they offer through their silver label, but honestly, I prefer Rioja from good ol' Spain. There's lots of options hitting various price points, go check your local wine shop for a more curated list and guidance.
Important, notice that I said local wine shop and did not say run to VONS or WholeFoods. And for goodness sake, don't you DARE buy your wine at Target. Come on, it's just a fancier Walmart and you will never find quality wine at the same place you can buy diapers (both for babies and adults). If you are going to go exploring into a new wine region, you really need someone who has the knowledge and has tasted the wines and can give you solid guidance. Otherwise you're risking wasting your money and wasting your own time. Sometimes people get overwhelmed or intimidated by going to a wine shop. It's easier to shop anonymously at the grocery store. But don't worry, we'll be bringing you another blog post soon about what questions to ask when you go to a wine shop, and some of our local wine shop recommendations!
Ok, now to switch gears. Another great rainy day wine is ....... SPARKLING! I specifically had a Pét-Nat from Sinor-LaValle a couple weeks back and since then I've been craving. Something about the crisp bubbles and biting acidity matches certain storms. I would recommend sticking with something more crisp and acid driven, rather than anything with almond and creamy notes.
Well that's it guys, those are my rainy day wine recommendations. Don't let the rain get you down, let it give you a reason to break out some great wine! Happy tasting (and drinking)!