Like Us On Facebook

Instagram Slider

  • Hi Im Mia Im taking my third nap and chilling
    7 months ago by mariolunasomm Hi, I’m Mia. I’m taking my third nap and chilling with my mommy and daddy. I don’t want my dad to go to the Wine Spectator event tonight on the Strip.
  • Whoooaaaaa! This babys vintage is correct from 1986 This is
    7 months ago by mariolunasomm Whoooaaaaa! This baby’s vintage is correct from 1986. This is Marqués de Murrieta Castilla Ygay Viura. 252 months aged in American oak, another 67 months aged in ceramic tanks, and then rested for another 3 years minimum to achieve the flavor profile that they want. There’s a ton of dill, Meyer lemon, and grilled pear on the nose and finishes very bright (even after 30 years), full-bodied, and a finish that lasts over two minutes long. So how did I sell it? My guest told me they had an specific amount that wanted to spend and they wanted to go
  • 273000 Thats how much wine sales that we have brought
    7 months ago by mariolunasomm $273,000: That’s how much wine sales that we have brought in just from  @bodegasontanon  since the end of 2015. For my wine program, this is THE most important wine portfolio at Jaleo Las Vegas. We are lucky to represent their craft with wines like the Clarete Rosado, Vetiver Viura, the 2005 Reserva and Gran Reserva, Mitologica, and the fun sweet, dessert Marco Fabio. Cheers!
  • Thank you oleimports for the invite to meet Winemaker Jose
    7 months ago by mariolunasomm Thank you  @oleimports  for the invite to meet Winemaker Jose Luis Ortiz and his Quinta de Murradella line. I have the Gorvia Blanco (third wine on the left). This 100% Dona Blanca single vineyard white wine from Monterrei, Spain has been very successful in e by Jose Andres for us. Cheers!
  • My two loves! Happy Mothers Day Alana With Mia this
    7 months ago by mariolunasomm My two loves! Happy Mother’s Day Alana. With Mia, this is the first of many! She’s lucky to have you as her momma. I love you

Guess This Mystery Syrah!

(This is beginning of a 4-part blog series called, “Syrah Education for Real Life” to amplify your passion for Syrahs or having to opportunity to learn about something you are not familiar with!)

This blog is a puzzle of understanding which specific wine (here’s a hint: it’s a Shiraz!) that I’m tasting. I will provide clues below that will help educate and challenge you, the reader.  As I am listing each clue below, please do yourself a favor and do not venture to the internet to search for the results until the end of this post. At the end of the blog, I’ll unveil the name of the mystery Shiraz.

But, before we play this game, what characteristics should you expect when tasting a Shiraz?

  • The color ranges from ruby to maroon with a slight tinge of purple
  • The aromas offer lots of ripe and cooked cherries with smoke, game, and black pepper
  • The finish is distinctively warm with high levels of alcohol while the fruit and pepper emerge as its staple flavors
  • Depending on the winemaker, the amount of dry tannins ranges from light to instantaneous


Without further ado, let’s begin.

Clue #1:  It’s a Mystery Shiraz, not a Mystery Syrah

Shiraz is the marketing term for the grape varietal “Syrah” in Australia.  Those Aussies wanted to stand out in the marketing, hence their ploy to create a catch-phrase name to showcase “their” trademark wine.  We will rule out any mystery Syrah or “Shiraz” wines from outside Australia, which unfortunately excludes one of my favorites:  Darioush Shiraz from Napa Valley, California.


Clue #2: It’s Only $10 per Bottle (At Most)

Given the price, we can go ahead and rule out major wineries like Mollydooker, and Claredon Hills here that cost easily more than $40 per bottle.  You’re probably starting to think that the wine isn’t sold much in specialty shops, either (you’re right).


Clue #3: This Mystery Shiraz is Widely Available in the United States and Around the World

In this case, big box and discount stores now play a factor like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Albertsons, Kroger’s, Smith’s, Vons, and other various discount liquor stores.

Clue #4:  Wine Spectator Listed the 2005 “Reserve” Version of the Mystery Shiraz on the Publication’s 2007 Top 100 List

Here’s a curveball! Sommeliers, wine lovers, and wine experts heavily rely upon wine and spirits outlets and publications like Wine Spectator to retrieve the necessary information to sell to customers (The Wine Spectator Grand Tour in Las Vegas is my Superbowl every May!)  If you feel the need to cheat, go to the Wine Spectator 2007 Top 100 list and you’ll get an idea there. But please wait!  Pretty please!


And Now, the Mystery Shiraz is…

Yellow Tail Shiraz!  If you guessed the answer, great job!!!!  If you didn’t, it’s totally fine. This kind of wine puzzle takes practice, and there plenty more to come. Keep at it, though – figuring these mystery wines out will really help you learn more about tasting wine and what do expect from different varietals and regions.

The biggest reason I wanted to use this wine is because Yellow Tail Shiraz, thanks to many people from around the wine industry, has a negative connotation as a “cheap wine.” Every winemaker has their recipe and technique and it would be wonderful if more people could appreciate the process and not just the price tag. Besides, the average price of a bottle of wine purchased in the United States is $8.98. When the 2007 Wine Spectator Top 100 was released, Yellow Tail Shirax actually cost $11. The market has spoken!


If this blog has been your introduction into Syrah (or Shiraz) wine education, then you should know tht this is only the first of a 4-part series designed to help you learn about this grape and then relate it to your everyday lives.


Part 1: Introduction to Shiraz

Part 2: Syrahs for the Pinot and Cabernet Lover

Part 3: Cooking at home with Syrahs

Part 4: Branching Out from the Syrah Grapes


Part 2-4 will only be available on my email list, so please subscribe at the bottom of the page to learn more. If you have a favorite Syrah or Shiraz, I’d love to hear about it! You can post it on any of my social media pages (here’s my Twitter and Facebook) or email at!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Sign up now and receive the free eBook, Wine for Beginners Preview. You will also stay up to date with weekly tips to enrich your wine education!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.