The end was nigh. I was about to go back on the wagon. Oh, don’t worry, I wasn’t going to stop drinking permanently or anything. I was just going to go two solid weeks without any wine. Or beer. Or liquor. Or, for that matter, salt, oil or anything carb-related. That’s right—no burritos. My two-week cleanse was going down in two days, which meant that along with the very expensive, very small portions of protein I was picking up at Whole Foods, I needed a nice bottle that would send me out with a bang.
That’s why I ended up with a Charles Smith 2010 Boom Boom! Syrah, made in my old stomping grounds of Washington state. I’ll admit it—I was again drawn to the label, a black-and-white image of a sizzling bomb, which is what I hoped the result would be in my mouth.
Smith’s a former rock ’n’ roller who sports a giant blond afro and a lot of character, and, in the past, I’ve enjoyed his wines. This one, however, was not my new favorite. It initially tasted young and a little too sweet and jammy, lacking the intense boldness I expect from a Syrah. So I put a cork in it—technically speaking, I screwed the top back on and let it sit for a night. This was going to be my last chance, not just for wine, but also grease and salt, so I brought home a half-rack of ribs and sat down, determined to finish everything in front of me.
It took some doing, but I was ultimately successful, and the Boom Boom! was aided by a number of things: First, the wine opened up after the bottle was opened up, and the flavors mellowed, getting deeper and richer. There was still a little more cherry then I had hoped for, but I also found blackberry and pepper in there. The other taste was smoke, which, not surprisingly, nicely complemented the meal I was eating. While I don’t think I’d serve it with a steak, it was well-suited to the salty, sweet meat.
I’d definitely open another bottle with barbecue. Or, I should say, I will, as soon as I’m back off the wagon.