Pairing Petite Sirah: Dark and Delicious

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dsc_2258Petite Sirah, did you know that we love you and pairing Petite Sirah is both dark and delicious! We love your full, big, bold, blueberry flavor, with hints of black pepper and meaty notes. You pair well with just about anything rich, especially BBQ pork. Yes, you make our world go around because of the marketing efforts of PS I Love You, the Petite Sirah advocacy group formed in 2002. Their mission is to promote, educate, and legitimize Petite Sirah as a noble variety and to highlight this mission, Jo Diaz, put on an exceptional event the night of Friday, February 22nd at the Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda. With over 50 wineries and 35 food vendors, Petite Sirah was showcased to well over 300 guests who drank Petite Sirah in one hand, while tasting food in the other.

DSCN1001Dark and Delicious is a great way to get acquainted with the grape and the food that it pairs with and challenge drinkers to make this their new “go-to” wine. Many sweets were served, including Chef Tyler Stone’s Concannon Petite Sirah ice cream with raspberry peppercorn coulis. The food vendors that participated in the pork challenge however, really brought it home. Dark and Delicious is sponsored by the National Pork Board who offered free pork to any participating food vendor who created a dish with the meat to prove that the tenderness and slightly sweet flavor of pork goes well with Petite Sirah. Piatti Italian Restaurant created a colorful pulled pork slider with a splash of shredded purple cabbage on a brioche bun, Cuisine by Lela created a tasty brown sugar bacon mini-grilled cheese bite,  and Eat Le Truc created chocolate covered bacon that beckoned a nice, tall glass of Petite Sirah.

DSCN1007A  Petite Sirah event is never complete unless a showing of several Livermore Valley Wineries attend and pours their wines.  In 1961, Jim Concannon bottled the first varietal Petite Sirah in the US and from then forward, he was known as the “Father of Petite Sirah.” The tradition continues at Concannon, and they still bottle the heritage Livermore Valley grape and churn out some outstanding examples of the varietal. Both Jim and his son John were pouring at the event, proudly showing off one of their award-winning vintages.

Fenestra Winery in Livermore was pouring their 2010 Petite Sirah. Newly promoted winemaker, Meredith Miles was pouring and was asked about her new position.  She said she was she was excited to be the winemaker for the Fenestra brand as she is one of the few woman winemakers in Livermore. She was excited to not only continue making the quality wines that Fenestra is known for, but also to create some of her own signature blends and varietals.

DSCN1021Father and Son duo, Jeff and Collin Cranor of Nottingham Cellars were pouring their 2010 Varietal Expression Petite Sirah, which was awarded a solid 90 points from Wine Enthusiast, a magazine who seems to be fond of this winery. Viriginia Boone has scored many of their wines quite high and has expressed praise for Collin’s use of single vineyard varietal wines and his ingenuity with his winemaking. This winery continues to make powerful expressions of big, bold wines from the Livermore Valley.

Occasio Winery and Crooked Vine & Stony Ridge were also pouring their Petite Sirah. Both award winning wineries poured perfect examples of their Petite Sirah and were promoting Livermore Valley and its terroir.  They agree that the climate creates and ideal mix for growing deep and delicious Petite Sirah.

All in all, the event was a success. Battling traffic on a Friday night was a challenge, but once you pull into Rock Wall and look out at the 180 sweeping view of San Francisco’s nighttime skyline, you know that this event must be spectacular. The romance of the night, followed by food and wine, makes for a perfect evening. For more information about Petite Sirah, Click Here.  For other events put on by PS I Love You, Click Here!

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