Most people don’t know Petit Sirah or if they do, they confuse it with syrah or shiraz. According to the advocacy group PS I Love You, Petite Sirah is the offspring of Syrah: “Every grape variety has two parents. In the case of Petite Sirah, those two parents are Syrah and Peloursin. That means that half of the genetic makeup of Petite Sirah came directly from Syrah. Syrah is the father of Petite Sirah in the true genetic sense.”
That more people don’t know their sirahs from their syrahs is a shame because it means they’re missing out on a big, juicy, inky “dark & delicious” wine!
It’s not surprising that more people don’t know about Petit Sirah: it’s commonly a wine used in blending, adding color and body and umph.
But when it’s good, or very very good, a winemaker will bottle straight PS –and that is an uncommonly good pleasure!
As you may know from reading this blog, I cut my wine teeth working at the Ridge tasting room up Montebello Road back in my 20s. They knew how to make some incredible PS then (and they still do).
So if you come across a petit sirah at a wine tasting, you should definitely ask to try it. Just last weekend, at Ventura’s Valentines n’Wine Passport Weekend, my husband had a few wonderful petit sirah experiences, especially Ojai Vineyard’s Petit Sirah…what a dreamy PS… and now he wants more!
A great way to discover how great Petit Sirah can be is by tasting a lot of it by several different winemakers. And since PS is such a great food wine, an even better way is through pairings of food with Petit Sirah.