The Saga of Syrah continues…

I’ve been on this Syrah pairing kick for a couple of days. This will be my last entry for a while…I think.

Maybe it’s because I like so many of the flavors Syrah goes well with. Maybe it’s because my husband and I really enjoy creating appetizer plates to sit down to about 4pm a couple afternoons a week…or when the sun is shining and the patio beckons.

Syrah & goat cheese with pepper and sundried tomatoes, green olives, black olives, toasted walnuts & pecans

Syrah & goat cheese with pepper and sundried tomatoes, green olives, black olives, toasted walnuts & pecans

A good bottle of wine or, rather, varietal of grape, can be determined by taste, obviously, but when that’s not possible, where the grape was grown in relation to whether that area is known for growing that grape well. Does that make sense? What I mean is the Willamette Valley is known for their Pinot Noir. That’s not to say other grapes don’t grow well there or that there aren’t vineyards producing Pinot Noir that doesn’t taste award winning. But, on the whole, that region grows Pinot well.

So, if you’re looking for a good bottle of Syrah without being able to taste it first, try the Rhone Valley and Provence in France, regions in Australia (where it’ll probably be labeled Shiraz) and California.

On to hummus which, aside from the roasted garlic and pepper in it, really pairs better with a Pinot Noir but, hey, I wanted hummus as part of my appy plate. A lot of people buy this at the store and that’s fine for a time saver but if you have about 15 minutes, it tastes so much better home made. The store bought is more expensive, for one thing, but it always has too much lemon or not enough garlic or is just bland. Make it yourself and you can adjust it to your tastes and know every ingredient that’s in it.


1 can (15 oz.) garbanzos

¼ cup tahine (sesame paste), or ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons olive oil

Homemade hummus

Homemade hummus

3 tablespoons lemon juice               *That’s too much for me. I add 1 ½ Tbsp

1 large clove garlic, cut in thirds     *That’s not enough for me. I use 2-3 cloves

¼ teaspoon ground cumin              *That’s not enough for me. I use 1 ½ tsp

Salt and pepper                                  *I use 1 tsp salt & ½ tsp pepper

Optional garnishes: Olive oil or chopped parsley

Drain garbanzos, reserving liquid. Put garbanzos into a blender or food processor. Add tahine (or toasted sesame seeds and olive oil), lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and ¼ cup of the garbanzo liquid. Whirl, adding more garbanzo liquid if needed, until mixture is smooth and the consistency of heavy batter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish as suggested above. Makes 12 servings, 2 tablespoons per serving.

Original recipe taken from Sunset Menus & Recipes for Vegetarian Cooking




I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

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