Welcome back, my friends – I hope you’ve enjoyed the quartet of posts about our terrific private tasting of German wines, and the talented, engaging men and women who made them (and poured them for us)!
Today, I’m smuggling you into another specialized – and very special – wine tasting. (I promised you lots of “insider” content, right?) This one is a celebration of Petite Sirah, which 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 costs lots 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. Tomorrow I’ll have a very special announcement for you (preview below)….
Until then, as always,
Cheers and happy tastings,
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Cheers once again, my friends,