Syrah (Shiraz) drinkers don’t mind having Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers turn their noses up at us. That’s because we’re hogging some of the most impressive – and affordable – red wines on the planet! To a person who works in wine retail, it is simply astonishing how many people refuse to consider Syrah as an alternative to the Cabs and Merlots they have been drinking – particularly when they tell me that they enjoy Cabs and Merlots that are not massive, tannic, and oaky. What these people want is Syrah. They just don’t know it. Let me explain in just a few points why Syrah deserves some attention from you dogmatic Cab and Merlot drinkers. -Syrah has an intense and beautiful concentration of fruit, including blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry, as well as some smoky and peppery qualities that are unique to this grape. –Syrah is generally not as tannic as either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot so you don’t have to cellar them for years to enjoy them (although they do cellar well). –Syrah is a more versatile food pairing than Cabernet or Merlot, being a perfect match for almost any dish from seared tuna to grilled beef and lamb. This leads me to my Syrah / Cabernet Sauvignon Challenge, or rather, my challenge to Cab drinkers. We want to make trying Syrah fun for greater Jackson wine lovers. And even though you will already find Syrahs to be some of the best values in red wine, we will take an additional 15% off of a bottle of Syrah if you mention you saw this on our wine blog. We are confident you will find something new, exciting, and worth exploring!