The Wine You Should Drink With The Sweetbitter Season Finale

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
The day Tess and her audience have been waiting for is just around the corner. On Sunday, the season 1 finale of Starz new drama Sweetbitter will air, and we will find out whether or not our heroine gets officially hired as a back-waiter at the fancy New York restaurant we've been watching her train at for the past six weeks. For watching this momentous episode, we're going to need the perfect bottle of wine.
In the preview for episode 6, "It's Mine," so many of the things that we thought we knew about Sweetbitter's main characters, their relationships, intentions, and ambitions are brought into question. Will, the back waiter whom Tess briefly dated and jerked around a bit in last week's episode, shows his sensitive side by expressing hurt feelings. The clip also shows Tess eavesdropping on a heated argument between her new mentor, Simone, and her bad boy crush, Jake. This causes our protagonist to ask what is really going on between those two. What once seemed like a brother-sisterly relationship, might be something very different. The season finale's preview ends with Tess standing upstairs staring down at the bustling restaurant floor as the questions "Is this what you wanted?" is heard. Does this mean Tess is rethinking her aspiration to work in this restaurant?
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While we watch everything we thought we knew about Tess and her fellow restaurant workers come into question, certified wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC Sayle Milne suggests we drink a bottle of La Celestiere Côte du Rhône. The mysterious nature of the preview for this week's episode brought blind tastings, which are "feared and revered in the wine world" to Milne's mind because they often involve "not knowing what you are going to get." Just like with the characters in Sweetbitter, Milne says, "Some varietals are easier to pick out than others and those others? They can really fool you."
"If Tess were a glass of wine, it would seem that what we thought she once was is now something completely different," Milne explains and wine from the Rhône Valley in France reflects that dichotomy. "The Rhône is divided into two main regions, the North and the South, and though one would think the wines would be very similar, when you study and taste further, you discover their very distinct characteristics and terrior...Syrah is king in the Northern Rhône and in the South? Grenache holds the reins but loves to be blended with other grapes like Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault."
La Celestiere Côte du Rhône is from Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Southern region of Rhône. "The temperatures in the Southern Rhône are HOT, but there is something very cool — pun intended — that happens there to regulate the temperature. It is called The Mistral (mi-strahl). This very powerful and cold wind — about 60 mph — blows from winter to early spring. The irony is that, though the winds are often highly destructive, damaging vines, etc., what comes behind them are bright skies and loads of sunshine to ripen the grapes. Tess might consider her time in NYC thus far to be a bit of a Mistral." In this week's episode, however, it seems we will find out if she will "hold out for better weather to come."
Wine from Southern Rhône is much like Tess and so many of the other characters in this show. According to Milne, "I love these wines because, not only are they loaded with dark, ripe fruits, but they can be savory and can take on a smokey, meaty quality. In other words, things are not always as they seem."
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