After over three weeks on the road, and tasting wine in Idaho, Walla Walla Washington and the Willamette Valley in Oregon, I made it Monday July 25 to Jim Concannon’s birthday dinner to celebrate his 80th and Petite Sirah at the PS I Love You Petite Sirah Symposium Tuesday July 26 at Concannon Winery in Livermore. (Links to participating wineries and those discussed below the jump; here’s a blog post by Jo Diaz about the events. Pictured below is Jim Concannon’s son John honoring him; pictured above is Karen Leslie who sat next to me).
What to eat with your Petite? If a summer time dinner or lunch outside under the table grape arbor at Concannon is any indication, it’s barbeque tri-tip, chicken, and beans!
But there is more to life than barbeque, so at Tuesday’s Petite Sirah symposium, Ellen Landis, Sommelier, proprietor of Landis Shores Luxury Inn, and author of Ellen on Wine shared some of her ideas on which foods pair best with Petite Sirah. I tried valiantly to take notes which she spoke; unfortunately, many of them were lost when I lost my internet connection! But basically, her main point was:
Drink what YOU like.
Since there are different styles of Petite sirah, the question really is which style goes with which food.
A basic rule of thumb is to match or contrast–match heavy meals with heavier wine styles, match flavor profiles or contrast them. Avoid pairing delicate dishes (like sole) with a powerful wine like Petite.
How to gain creaminess with Petite Sirah? Landis suggest beef stroganoff paired with Rock Wall 2009. She also had specific suggestions of which Petite Sirah would go best with beef or pork tenderloin. At lunch I sat with Rock Wall winemaker Shauna Rosenblum (and yes I will be blogging about her soon! What a great story!) and tasted her Rock Wall 2009 Gamble Ranch that afternoon. This wine retails at $30 and is very rich and creamy in a cream soda or root beer float kind of way, very spicy, maple syrup, and chocolate malt.
Ellen Landis noted that the French pair red wines with fish–so don’t be afraid! She says try a blackened salmon with a PS; Ellen paired hers with a fruity Michael David PS which is 50% PS with 50% Petite verdot.
While most of us think of Petite Sirah as going with meat, vegetarians can enjoy PS with eggplant parmagiana with a variety of petite sirah styles. PS stands up to the fullness of the sauce and the creamy mozzarella allows the tomato sauce to work well and not clash.
Cheeses with Petite Sirah are great as a dessert course. For most palates, the wine should be as sweet as the dessert Continue reading