Welcome back, my friends – I hope you’re ready for a really cool tasting adventure, here at Drink Wine With Dinner®!
Last weekend, I tucked into a good-sized steak – tender, juicy, and extra-rare – with some big, burly Petite Sirah that a friend had brought.
It reminded me of a very specialized – and very special – wine tasting that I enjoyed last year.
So, together, we’re going to check out the tasting (I did promise you an “all access pass,” and lots of “insider” content, right?) with this celebration of Petite Sirah – which just happens to be a personal favorite of mine.
There’s nothing at all “petite” about Petite Sirah! Quite the contrary, as our palates are reminding us today. This big, brash, brazen red varietal, in fact, is one of the most tannic, teeth-staining, inky-dark wines out there.
Also called Durif, after the French botanist who hybridized it, it’s a cross between Syrah and a little-known French grape called Peloursin.
Some theorize that it’s called “Petite” because, genetically, it’s a “child” of Syrah. (Guess that’s as good a theory as any….)
Compared to, say, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, or even Zinfandel, Petite Sirah is not all that well known. Relatively few wineries make it, and relatively few “casual” wine drinkers have even tasted it. It’s rarely a “go-to” wine – surprising, because it’s really delicious, and it usually costs far less than those more popular reds.
But, as with so many good-things-just-waiting-to-happen, Petite Sirah has its ardent fanatics. And thanks to the PS I Love You advocacy group, Petite Sirah fans recently gathered to taste the good stuff.
An easygoing, walk-around tasting with over two dozen wineries pouring, it gave us a great opportunity to sample current vintages of Petite Sirah, as well as quite a few older “library” selections.
In addition to the appetizers we started with (mmm – pork-belly sliders!), a pair of chefs on the back terrace worked nonstop – grilling, carving and serving up incredible slices of rare lamb and tender chicken.
Later on, I heard that Petite Sirah legend Carl Doumani, of Stags’ Leap Winery fame, had donated… well, I’ll let my friend Jo Diaz, a founder of PS I Love You and its executive director – who led me to the organization years ago – tell you all about it (just click)….
Well, my friends, I hope you’ve enjoyed our Petite Sirah adventure. In a few days, I’ll be revealing what’s in store for you, here at Drink Wine With Dinner®, as we grow into our new format.
Until then, as always,
Cheers and happy tastings,
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