Tag Archives: Syrah

Kirkland Brand Côtes du Rhône Villages

Côtes du Rhône Villages

Cost: $6.99

Where buy now: Costco

Grapes: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre

Region: Rhone, France

Vintage: 2012

To be frank, this wine startled me. Really? A seven dollar Costco chuggin’ wine?


Pronounced (Coat-duh-Rone Vih-lahzh) it’s tickled with ripe cherry and old fashioned red licorice flavors. Wait, red licorice? No, not that corn syrupy Twizzlers crap- the REAL stuff. Decent tannins and finish. I decree at only $6.99, this is my Skank Wine of the month pick.


We paired Kirkland Brand Côtes du Rhône Villages with some grilled lamb chops (which you can also buy for a song at Costco). Our total meal, wine included, cost $20.  Remember: here in Minnesota, you do NOT need to be a Costco member to buy booze. It’s separate from the main warehouse.


From what the Farmer’s Almanac has been forecasting, we may be in for one helluva long Winter (again). Therefore, at only $6.99, buy a damn case. Your soul will thank you when you’re ready to fashion a noose because it’s still 100 f’ing below in March.


If you’re just a drinker and not a researcher, move your ass going to the store. Want to read more on the differences among the Côtes du Rhône region upon your return? I defer you to my pals at Wine Folly.

Boom Boom Syrah

Cost: Average price $17, on sale $12.99

Where buy now: Solo Vino Wines, Elevated Wines and Spirits, Surdyk’s, Byerly’s

Grapes: Syrah

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington

Vintage: 2011

Boom Boom Syrah

You may have noticed, I’d taken a 4-month hiatus from blogging. This was an odd Summer. Not only did I endure two family members’ deaths in the same week whilst my day job got crazy busy due to staff turnover, but also, I lost much confidence thanks to overriding and paralyzing perfectionism.

You know what? I’m glad it happened. Did it stop me from drinking wine? Oh, hell no. My husband can attest to the oodles of bottles strewn about the kitchen and dining room awaiting review.

Where did my mojo go and, more importantly, how would I get it back?

You know that old adage, “be careful what you wish for”? I [or, perhaps more accurately, The Savvy Lush] was receiving tons of invites to primo events, tastings and other general ballyhoo. I loved it. I was in full on sponge mode, learning as much as possible while meeting as many people as possible. Hell, I even made it as a finalist for the International Wine Blog Awards’ “Best New Wine Blog” award! I was on Cloud Nine.

Then, suddenly, I was disqualified.

On a technicality. Turns out, all finalists in the “Best New Wine Blog” category had to be new as of 2012. While I didn’t officially launch the blog until late January of 2012, I did upload a test article in December of 2011. Bam! Done. Name removed. Parade rained out. Twitter stopped blowing up; my Facebook fan count was leveling off. This led to a post-euphoric low air of desperation. I became obsessed with social media: was I gaining enough followers? Who is tweeting me? Who’s NOT tweeting me? I had 652 Facebook fans one day, the next I had… 651? Who dare unlike me?

I had only been at it for a year and change, but I felt entitled to more. The stress of success started to short-wire my brain. I lost sight of my vision and had to back away for a little while. I went into self-imposed exile, embarrassed that I hadn’t written anything in such a long time. Was The Savvy Lush dead? Done for? Finito? Kaputt?

Was I just going to give up when things got tough? I slowly realized that it was my own insecurities, pressure, stress and perfectionism that hindered any momentum. I crept back into the social media realm posting and having fun again. I began saying “no”. It killed me at first but turning down a couple gigs and events to save/regain sanity was a necessity. At last, the creativity has begun to flow back into my veins.

And this wine helped: The Boom Boom Syrah from Charles Smith. What better wine to help catapult you back than a wine called “Boom Boom”?

I’m a fan of Mr. Smith’s wines. I’ve raved about Kung Fu Girl http://bit.ly/13zf5fb/Kung Fu Girl. Boom Boom is a go-to red at my house. In the course of my hiatus, I cannot tell you how many bottles I bought.

This is some good ole Washington State dark, plummy, jammy red Syrah and I love it. It’s an explosion of blackberry and raspberry flavors, countered by mild tannins and low acidity. It’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. I wouldn’t consider this an overly complex wine. It’s fruit forward. It’s simple, it’s delicious and it has “everyday wine” written all over it. When I can find it for under $15, I will always buy a bottle (or two or eight). Drink it alone, or hell, have it with a burger and fries, maybe some ribs. It’s a real crowd pleaser.

So, if you’re experiencing overload and need to power down, do your body good. When you’re ready to kick-start again, pick up some Boom Boom Syrah.

As for my relationship with social media, let’s just say I’ve found a better balance. Someone who helped me find perspective is Louis C.K. Enjoy his brilliant musings about social media: http://youtu.be/xSSDeesUUsU/Louis C.K. talks social media

That said, please feel free to “like” me on Facebook http://facebook.com/TheSavvyLush/The Savvy Lush and/or follow me on Twitter (@savvylush).

Borsao Berola

Cost: Average price $14

Where buy now: Sorella Wines & Spirits

Grapes: Garnacha, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Spain

Vintage: 2009

Borsao Berola

I can’t tell you how depressed I’ve been the past couple of weeks. You see, I fell victim to a nasty cold-turned-sinus infection. A decidedly unwelcome guest who decided to “play house” with my body for over two weeks. What did this mean? It meant no energy, no going out, no breathing through my nose.  Now, breathing difficulties are one thing- a bad hand dealt, for sure. But what made this personal was it meant two more horrible things: no drinking and no tasting. Good God, why? WHYYYYY?!? Life, as I knew it, was over.

After a full week, I tried some vino. I had to. My blood was curdling from the lack of sweet nectar. It was like a sailor suffering from surly scurvy at sea. You know what? Terrible. Ugh. Disgusting. I honestly thought it was corked. Goddamn my faulty tastebuds, trampled, tainted by zinc lozanges and antibiotics. So, it was back to drinking mugs of hot water like an old Betty.

Almost a full week later, I gave it another try. This time with a bottle of Borsao’s Berola. A Spanish blend of Garnacha, Syrah and Cabernet. Clouds parted, gorgeous rays of sunshine beamed through. It gave my once “Weekend at Bernie’s” taste buds something to embrace,  and I got to taste it paired with a ribeye steak, mushrooms and arugula. I was back baby, I was back!

This wine froliced on my tongue. I can’t tell you how happy I became. I then realized truly how much of my happiness revolves around taste. Alas, I’ll save that deep shit for my therapist.

Let me get down to the wine flavors. Mmm, glorious flavor. Purply blackberry Garnacha married with the smokey jam of Syrah, finished off with Cabernet tannins- a delightful berry-y, woody jam of a wine.

If Evodia is a go-to, spend the few extra bucks and buy this. Drink alone or with food. Drink, be happy, and never take these things for granted. I know I shan’t.