Petite Sirah holiday blind tasting party

Sally and I visited her family in Houston, Texas for Christmas and used the opportunity to host a dinner party at her Mom’s house. Joining us were Sally’s Mom Mabeth, Sally's brother Greg and his wife Jennifer, and our friends Will and Sherri.

The grape of the evening was Petite Sirah and we blind tasted a few bottles from our collection. If you’re not familiar with this varietal, it’s known for being big and bold, with dark fruit flavors and high tannins.  

Our stellar lineup of Petite Sirahs ready for blind tasting 

The Wines

We started everyone off with a bottle of 2011 Cuvaison Solitaire Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a light and refreshing wine and paired nicely with prosciutto-wrapped melon we served as an appetizer. As we noted in a recent blog post, white wine can still be heartily enjoyed in the winter!

Next, we moved on the the Petite Sirahs. They were served blind side-by-side so they could be enjoyed and discussed without any preconceptions. 

Here’s the line-up:

  • 2007 Vincent Arroyo Greenwood Ranch Petite Sirah
  • 2007 Seghesio Home Ranch Petite Sirah
  • 2007 Simi Petite Sirah 


The Food

The tasting started off with a cheese course: 

  • Lemon basil feta spread
  • Aged cheddar
  • Bellavitano Merlot Wisconsin cow’s milk cheese 

Dinner consisted of molasses bourbon glazed beef tenderloin, scalloped potatoes, and green bean bundles wrapped in bacon. 


The Winner

This may have been our closest blind tasting contest yet. The Vincent Arroyo and the Simi each received three votes as the best. 

The Vincent Arroyo received high marks for its outstandingly smooth taste and pleasant fruit. It was clearly the favorite for drinking on its own.

The Simi earned its votes for pairing so well with both the cheese and the meal. It was especially spot on with the lemon basil feta spread.

Everyone enjoyed the Seghesio, but agreed it wasn’t in the same class as the other two.

I was the only one who wasn’t drinking blind since I had served the wines, but I got to cast the deciding vote since it was a tie. For me, the Vincent Arroyo was my favorite.

This was the second win for Vincent Arroyo at a Share the Bottle wine party. They were also the top pick in our Cabernet Sauvignon blind tasting in 2012.

From left to right: Me (Jeff), sister-in-law Jennifer, Sally's brother Greg, Sally, Sally's mom Mabeth, Sherri, and Will.

Posted on January 5, 2014 and filed under Tasting Experiences.