Behind the Wine in Lodi CA: In the Mood with Michael David Petite Sirah


Hello Lodi –again! and no I don’t feel stuck at all — instead I feel grateful! Last summer when I was here in Lodi for the Wine Bloggers Conference, I was suffering a great deal of pain in my heels. Turns out, I had STRESS FRACTURES in both feet following an intense Sierra backpack trip! As you can imagine, I didn’t get out and around as much as I’d like.

And so I am thrilled today to be here in LODI for a “behind the wine” experience!

Visit Lodi has a full agenda planned for us and they are putting us up at Hampton Inn & Suites and the Holiday Inn Express. I stayed at the Holiday Inn last time, so I am glad I am experiencing the Hampton this time. Because last weekend I fell while skiing at Mammoth and got all bruised, I needed a bathtub so I could soak in Epsom salts to help with the healing (no I am not accident prone — just VERY active!) But my room with the tub had a broken toilet, then the next room had an always on fan and barely functional key card and no tub so they moved me to a suite where everything works beautifully! Plus there’s a fridge and a microwave which the other rooms lacked.

Both franchises offer a free continental breakfast (make your own waffles!), a fitness room, a pool, and more, as well as a convenient location by Highway 99 and Kettleman.  As well as convenient to the Welcome Reception at Calturas Winery across the street! There we will meet Visit Lodi! President & CEO Nancy Beckman followed by dinner at The Dancing Fox (another winery!), Coffee/Gelato at School Grounds, and concluding with Wine Tasting and Live Music at Scotto’s Wine & Cider– I’ll wear my dancing shoes just in case!

Saturday starts off bright and early with some really fun activities including an optional bike ride with rentals from Lodi’s Downtown Bicycles then a morning kayak on Lodi Lake and down the Mokelumne River with tour guide and owner of Headwaters Kayak, Dan Arbuckle. I hope we see some good birds too — should have brought my binoculars!

After a short break and a chance to change clothes, we will visit three different winery venues using the Sip Shuttle Bus with our very own tour guide, attend a Cheese and Wine talk at Viaggio Winery then have dinner there.

Sunday we are free to develop our own itinerary and the suggestions include:

  • Micke Grove Park (San Joaquin County Historical Museum, Japanese Garden)
  • Lodi Lake Nature Area
  • Olive Oil Tasting
  • Downtown Shopping & Tasting
  • Skydiving at the Lodi Parachute Center
  • Experience Lodi’s Art Scene
  • Walldog’s Mural Walking Tour

You know I will be doing the downtown tasting and hopefully catch the mural walking tour too! There’s a few wineries that Mike Brown at Cantara Cellars suggested I visit so I will try to hit those too.

Recently Sue and I got in the mood for my Lodi visit with two Petite Sirah from Michael David which I am on my way to visit any minute now!

Michael David Winery – Petite Petit – 2015 – 14.5% alcohol – $18
85% Petite Sirah 15% Petit Verdot

Both Sue and I have purchased this wine on several occasions because it is a nice quality wine for the price point and the label  is fun and festive — just like the wine is fun and festive. It’s easy to find: even Costco carries it, and you might be surprised by the quality of the wine– it even has a nice cork.

color – Dark dense wine – dark and delicious  – red velvet or burgundy velvet – pink stuck to the glass after it has been finished.

nose – blueberry plum on the nose.  palate pine forest on a hot summer day… John says: “This smells like fresh wine” — and yet there’s also a husky musky note like the smell of horses that have been running all day…

palate – A lot of sweetness from the alcohol. This is a great BBQ wine; you could even make the BBQ sauce with the wine. Think blue berry paper or danish.This has a great finish, minerals come forth and make the finish linger.

This wine has many nice qualities, and food made it that much better. It can handle bold salty, brine flavors making it a great wine for a pizza party.

John tastes the stems and a greenness to the wine which makes us wonder if it’s whole cluster. Plenty of tannins are evident and there is a dryness on the mouth when sipping on this wine without food.

Michael David Winery – Earthquake – Petite Sirah – 2014 – 15% alcohol – $26

This bottle also has a beautiful label –  On the back is a poem:

Powerful Titan, arms reaching for sky,
Earthbound devourer, open your eyes!
Throw off your blankets. the day has begun,
Indulge yourself in warm Lodi sun.
Take what is given. the world is your own
Enjoy your dominion, you sit on the throne
Stand and be noticed, grape without peer,
Instruct in the others what they should fear.
Raise up your standard, proclaim your rights,
Answer to not one, conquer with might.
Hall the victor, the king with flaw,
Salute your new master….Petite Sirah.

This wine has really pleasurable qualities on both the nose and the palate.

color – That is so dark like black black , John stated as it was coming out of the bottle. This is definitely a tooth staining wine!

nose – smelling this gave John goosebumps all over his body , herbal and earthy. On the nose it makes you shatter. When you sniff  it your brain tells you “I like it” It gives your body a shudder– you know there is something organically connected to it– a tremor, an earthquake. Perfume on the earthquake is multileveled. It works you from level to level. mineral qualities. John said, “the earthquake is probably more complex than I can explain, I just know that I like it.”

“The complexity literally shakes you up and challenges you!”

palate – blue cheese works well with this wine, great wine by the glass for a place that has a high end burger, use blue cheese or smoked cheese with this wine but the blue just tames the tannins so nicely and contrasts the fruit, dried fruit, dried blueberries with cocoa and sage. This wine is so wonderful with blue cheese, when both of the two are in your mouth it just makes you salivate with joy.

Like an earthquake , this is a dangerous wine: it is so easy to drink with a high alcohol level.  It can sneak up on you!

The grapes in the wine come from a vineyard planted in 1906, the year of the historic San Francisco earthquake.

Sue asked John and I, “If you had both of these on a wine menu and were only going to order one glass, which would it be?” John without hesitation answered:”Earthquake all the time, I feel like if I didn’t like this wine there would be something wrong with me.” While I loved the Earthquake, I’d choose the “Petite Petit” because it is so versatile and accessible.

Both of these wines are widely available. There are other wines in the “Circus” series too that look worth checking out! I AHVE TO GET A BOTTLE OF THE FREAK SHOW!!!!

Both wines and the trip were provided for my possible review. Thank you to Diaz Communications and to Visit Lodi!

Time to get out of my hotel room and get to my adventures!


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