As a Long Island wine enthusiast who also loves to grill large pieces of red meat on my grill all summer long, I’m always on the lookout for local red wine pairings that really sing.
I often find myself reaching for red blends if I’m drinking local wine — which I typically am. Usually, I look for wines with a nice dose of Petit Verdot, which brings a peppery spiciness that I love with grilled red meat.
Then I tasted this week’s Wine of the Week — Macari Vineyards 2015 Syrah ($45) — and I found a new favorite for grilled leaner cuts. It’s a bit more elegant than most Long Island red blends, but no less complex or flavorful.
You don’t find a lot of syrah on the East End. It doesn’t always grow well or ripen fully, but when it does the wines can be outstanding. Plus they are a nice break from the Bordeaux varieties like merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.
The nose starts with ripe cherry aromas, but also shows nuances that range from black pepper to cinnamon to mushrooms. If you stick your nose all the way into your glass, there is something akin to cocoa powder too.
Medium bodied, with nice, fresh acidity, this wine is extremely food friendly — that acidity cuts through rich foods nicely. Cherry and cherry cola flavors are joined by earthy and spicy notes. The tannin structure is well incorporated, but still provides a nice bit of grip on a long, earthy-spicy finish.
This is almost like a pinot noir lover’s expression of syrah. And it’s available at the winery’s Mattituck tasting room for $45.