In our SHORTEST EPISODE EVER, funny messages sent with champagne deliveries during lockdown come courtesy of The Finest Bubble’s Nick Baker. (Our favourite? A close call between ‘Cheer up!’ and ‘STOP MOANING.’)

As the weddings, birthdays and anniversaries continue to see sparkling glasses raised via the internet, we turn to the pressing subject of where to find the best Syrah wines – made in the aromatic, elegant style of the Northern Rhône – from the New World. We touch on Chile, California, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa before alighting back in our small back room with two large glasses of red. Cheers!

‘Levels of trade have been 2.5 to 3 times what they’d normally be at this time of year.’ Nick Baker, The Finest Bubble

Running Order

  • Introduction: 0 – 2.59
  • Interview with Nick Baker: 3.00 – 9.11
  • Listener question from Tom: 12.05 – 12.22
  • On Rhône-style Syrah from the New World: 12.29 – 19.00
  • END: 19.15

‘Lots of messages [accompanying champagne deliveries] are based around: cheer up!’ Nick Baker


‘According to Dr José Vouillamoz, Syrah is quite closely related genetically to Pinot Noir.’

Featured Wines

  • Casa Marin Miramar Syrah 2009, 12%, Lo Abarca, Chile
  • Dry River Lovat Vineyard Syrah 2009, 13%, Martinborough, New Zealand

Our top Syrah producers

These are some of our favourite New World producers making wines from the Syrah grape variety in the style of the great reds of the Northern Rhône Valley in France. (Think: deeply coloured, vivid aromas of black pepper, violets, blackberries, smoky bacon and black olives, juicy fresh acidity, firm but not weighty tannins, lowish alcohol and a long, complex finish.)

  • AUSTRALIA: Clonakilla, Glaetzer-Dixon, Innocent Bystander, Jayden Ong, Luke Lambert, Payten & Jones, Marian’s Vineyard
  • CALIFORNIA: Arnot-Roberts, Copain, Dutton Gregory, Kongsgaard, Kunin, Peay Vineyards, Piedrasassi, Qupé, Wind Gap
  • CHILE: Casa Marin, Casas del Bosque, Errázuriz, Falernia, Garcés Silva (Amayna), Kingston, Matetic, Viña Leyda
  • NEW ZEALAND: Bilancia, Craggy Range, Dry River, Elephant Hill, Fromm, Kusuda, Man O’War, Te Mata, Trinity Hill
  • SOUTH AFRICA: Boekenhootskloof, Eagle’s Nest, Keermont, Lammershoek, Luddite, Mullineux, Porseleinberg, Radford Dale, Reyneke


  • A vital question posed in this episode: what’s the collective noun for Wine Blast listeners? Blasters? Blasted Winos? Plastereds?! Answers on a tweet, please.
  • Did we mention this is our SHORTEST EPISODE EVER? 19.58. We’re very proud.
  • Nick Baker’s The Finest Bubble delivers champagne in two hours if you live in London. It’s the fourth Emergency Service.
  • Nick Baker teams up with fellow Master of Wine and champagne expert Essi Avellan MW for an Instagram Live session every Friday evening from 6.30pm UK time. Check it out!
  • Syrah is related to Pinot Noir. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
  • Peter did his Master of Wine dissertation on Syrah. We now realise this may have just been an excuse to stock the cellar…

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