Monday, July 13, 2009

Perfect Pairings: Petite Sirah and Peacock?

We sat down last week to taste six different Petite Sirahs. Winemaker Paul Moser says the varietal is one "built for off-roading" and "built for action." While the berries are small, they don't produce a small wine at all.

At the winery, we are getting set to bottle the 2007 Lot 205 PS tomorrow. That wine was in the tasting lineup, as was our 2006 - and then 4 other wines, both 06 and 07s. We tasted the wines blind, though we knew which producers and vintages they were from.

We liked the 2006 Bogle and the 2006 Lot 205.

Our guesses as to which wines were which were all over the place The unbottled 2007 Lot 205 Petite was the only wine that we all got right. It was also the clear favorite.

Paul's notes on the wine: High notes at first, not too tannic or oaky. Youthful, bouncy, cherry drop, juicy profile, round, grapey. Not overly rustic. Blackberry cobbler and purity of fruit. Bright, clean acidity with excellent balance and a freshness.


Digression: Paul writes the tasting notes. And they are very elegant and delicious-sounding tasting notes. The only thing is that the suggested pairings can be a wee bit esoteric, at least for me. I don't generally stand at the store and think, I'm going to pick up some feathered game tonight.

So we got to talking about what would comprise feathered game: squab, grouse, game hen, pheasant, pigeon ... peacock? Someone (I'm not naming names) at the table thought the Bremner crackers would pair well with peacock.

Then this was suggested: crackers, peacock & Petite Sirah. Yikes. I think I'll stick to some of the more "normal" pairings for the Petite. When I chatted with Paul today, he said to go with the bigger foods that wouldn't be overwhelmed by the wine. He says lamb shank, duck confit, heartier pastas, particularly bolognese, but also game: wild boar and venison stew. If you're vegetarian, he suggests ragout of red wine and portobello mushroom, perhaps grilled portobellos, or a five-cheese risotto.

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