A buddy of mine likes to say that he feels sorry for Southerners because "they have such a short syrah season." That's not a problem here, of course, and a great way to launch the season is with the Charles Smith Boom Boom! Syrah ($18). A deep, dark beauty with an array of fruit flavors and a marvelously chewy texture, this hearty Washington red (which has a wee bit of grenache and malbec) finishes spicy and smooth. Try it with stews and braises of any ilk. Available at Byerly's, Tournament, South Lyndale, France 44, the Wine Shop and Hiawatha Falls.