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WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Syrah Red Blends

The Syrah grape creates a wine that has a range of flavors that primarily depend on where they are grown. Cool-climate Syrah is light-bodied with more delicate flavors of soft fruit and earthy tones. They come from wine regions in cooler climates like Washington State, Northern Rhone, Sonoma and Chile. Warm-climate Syrah creates a full-bodied darker wine with heavier tannins, bold fruit flavor and notes of warm spice. These grapes are grown in warmer climates like Argentina, Spain, Napa, Paso Robles and Australia, where Syrah is known as Shiraz.

Petite Syrah is another hybrid grape from France. Despite its name, Petite Syrah is a distinctly different grape than Syrah. It possesses deep color and strong flavors of blueberry, sugar plum, black pepper, dark chocolate and black tea. It’s also a rare grape that is difficult to grow, and it’s primarily found in California and the French Alps.

Featured Wine of the Month: Freakshow Red Blend
Created by Michael David Winery, brothers Michael and David are fifth-generation grape-growers from the Phillips family in the Lodi region of California. They produce a variety of different wines, but the Freakshow lineup has been very successful.

The 2015 Freakshow Red is a blend of Lodi Syrah and Petite Syrah. “Very robust, this wine features aromas of campfire smoke and just a pinch of spice. Flavors of ripe plum, caramel and blackberry-infused maple syrup. Velvety smooth on the mouth with a bold finish. This wine is well balanced, just like a tight rope walker!” – Michael David Winery

Food Pairings:
Syrah grapes create bold, full-bodied wines with high tannins. They pair well with beef, pork, cured meats and vegetables with umami flavors like mushrooms, asparagus, sweet potatoes or winter squash. Pairing the wine with grilled meat helps match the intensity of the wine and smooth the tannins. The umami flavors also bring out the fruit in the wine.

Recipe:
Black & Bleu Burgers with Red Onion Marmalade

Ingredients:
4 FRESHmade Black & Bleu Burgers
4 FRESH Bakery Hamburger Buns
1/4 lb Point Reyes Bleu Cheese Crumbles
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs light brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water

Directions:
To make the red onion marmalade, heat oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid browning. Reduce heat if necessary. Add salt, brown sugar, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Continue to stir and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool before serving.

To serve the burgers, grill to desired doneness. Spread some of the bleu cheese over each burger. Top with some of the red onion marmalade. Place on the bun and serve.

Serves 4

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