At a nice dinner the other night, several friends and I decided to compare three top single-vineyard Côte Rôties from the vintage of 2001. If you don't know, Côte Rôtie is one of the top Syrah appellations in France's Rhone Valley. Actually, it’s one of the top Syrah appellations in France—okay, the world. All right, to my mind, it's the greatest place for Syrah in the world. Some might argue that Hermitage is better, but I'll take Côte Rôtie's lighter body, floral high notes and silky tannins any day.
I learned this trick from Larry Stone, master sommelier, GM of Napa's Rubicon Estate, and all-around wine know-it-all: take a decent-sized piece of Glad plastic wrap, wad it up and soak it in your wine glass for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.