Why Rhône Valley Syrah is a romantic wine
There are many ways you can define a romantic wine. It could be a wine with a suggestive name or label. Marilyn Wines would like you to think so. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out the Velvet Collection.) Or maybe it’s a special occasion wine, one that’s rare or in what you’d consider a “splurge” price range.
Finding the best wine for date night
A romantic wine can be one with sensual appeal. It can be a wine with a sensuous texture or a spice that awakens the senses. Or, as I’ve written about in the past, it can have aromas that replicate human pheromones. A wine with the power to turn you on with just a whiff? Yes, it’s possible.
I update a list of romantic wines each February for Gayot.com. As I select my wines, I like to take all of these possible definitions of what could make a wine romantic in a reader’s eyes. My final list always includes value wines as well as splurges, unusual varietals, as well as wines that are recognized around the world. I try my hardest to offer something for every wine lover’s notion of what makes a wine a vehicle for romance.
And although it’s February, and you’re probably expecting me to tell you what to serve for your next romantic dinner, that list already exists. And I invite you to explore it! But instead of offering redundancy, I’m going to use this month’s column to talk about a particular variety of wine from a particular region and why I think, as a category, it’s romantic wine.
Romance red wine
The wine I’m featuring for this month of romance is Rhône Valley Syrah. If history is a part of your definition of romance, then Rhône Syrah might be the wine for you. It is believed that the ancient Romans cultivated Syrah vines in this region. Although the wines produced from Syrah today are probably quite a bit different than those Roman wines!
But for me what makes the Syrah of Southern France a romantic wine is the characteristics of the wines of this region. They tend to have hints of smoke, sometimes even the biting spice of pepper. They tend to be wines with an alluring texture and restrained, berry fruit. If these sound like your kind of romantic wines, then take my recommendations for your next date night.
My Syrah Recommendations
2017 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage
This is probably my favorite romantic wine in these recommendations. It has a pronounced smoky note that conjures a sense of mystery. It’s loaded with musky blackberry notes and intense cassis. The wine is extremely young with gripping tannins. Although it offers a sexy drinking experience now, I’m going to wait a few years until opening another bottle.
2017 Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône “Les Deux Albions” Rouge
This Southern Rhône blend is without question the best value wine of my recommendations. However, if you’re looking to experience the expression of Southern Rhône Syrah, please keep in mind that this wine is only 50% Syrah. It offers both savory and sweet elements. I particularly like the rush of heat it offers from a pronounced black pepper note.
2017 Domaine Faury Vieilles Vignes
Of the three wines on my list, I think it’s easiest to see why I call this one a romantic wine. Its aromas offer a delicate balance of flowers and musk. Exotic spices on the palate add layers of complexity to the wine’s black cherry and black plum flavors. A sweetness on the finish gives you that satisfied feeling you get from finishing a great dessert.
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