McMenamins is putting on a wine festival at Edgefield this Friday and Saturday, called "Celebration of Syrah" which is... umm... a celebration of all things Syrah. A dark, thick-skinned grape, Syrah is the red wine makes a perfect barbecue buddy as it’s a fine match for grilled meats. Despite having attracted a somewhat uncouth reputation thanks to run-of-the mill blends from Australia (where it’s known as Shiraz), it produces some of France’s finest reds, most notably Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, which can age for half a century. Quality Syrah is also found around the world—here in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Chile, Italy, Portugal and South Africa.

The festival kicks off with a gourmet dinner on Friday night (paired with six Northwest Syrahs), followed by a lunch on Saturday highlighting the Rhone region in France and, later in the day, a tasting featuring over 100 wines, which is a great way to explore the full range of Syrah styles. There’s also a silent auction in aid of ¡Salud!, which provides healthcare for seasonal vineyard workers.

Friday -Saturday, April 8 & 9, full details available here. All events require tickets