I've referred to it in the past as "the beast." Possessing tannins that need to be tamed through intelligent winemaking, Petite Sirah can truly be a monster of a wine. One of the least well known red grape varieties, it does not command legions of rabid followers like Zinfandel or Cabernet or even Syrah, from which it takes its misleading name. In the right hands, however, Petite Sirah can be a stunning wine -- deep, resonant, and rich.
Petite Sirah has been grown in California for a long time, but apart from some limited success in the 1970s at the hands of Carl Doumani and Stags' Leap Winery, wines made exclusively from this grape variety never really earned the respect or attention of mainstream wine lovers.
Yet producers all over the state continue, quietly, to make Petite Sirahs, and many have no trouble selling them at all.
And occasionally, these producers, not so quietly serve up their wines with roast meats and chocolate for anyone who dares drink on the dark side, if you'll pardon the expression. The next opportunity you have to sample their wares will be Friday, February 8th, when the society of winegrowers and makers known as P.S. I Love You holds its annual tasting.
By then you should be:
a) sufficiently recovered from the Zap Zinfandel festival
b) in the mood for something other than Zinfandel
So go check it out. Who knows, perhaps you'll fall in love too.
P.S. I Love You Dark and Delicious Tasting
February 8th, 2008
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco, CA
Tickets are $50 per person and will most likely sell out (as there are only about 80 left at while I write this). They can be purchased online.
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