Wherein we ask local wine notables to make our weeknight drinking decisions for us.

Stoneburner lead sommelier Dawn Smith's background includes Cafe Juanita, Canlis, and passing a little thing known as the advanced sommelier exam. In her current gig, Smith is especially attuned to the weather, thanks to Stoneburner's giant windows overlooking Ballard Ave. They're miraculously still open most nights thus far in September, giving the stylish dining room an open-air vibe.

So what do you think, Dawn, what should I drink tonight?

I have always loved September in Seattle. The days are warm and the cooler nights gently prepare us for the upcoming fall/winter months. So whether your dinner plans tonight include a late-summer grill or a hearty fall stew, the 2011 Kerloo Cellars "Majestic" GSM (a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre from winemaker Ryan Crane and his crew) will pair beautifully. Inspired by wines from the Southern Rhone, this delicious wine tastes of dark berries, baking spice, and smoke, with an inviting meaty/savory quality. The silky tannins and balanced acidity complement the flavors nicely. 

The Price: $26

Find It: QFC (by special order), Stoneburner

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