People often are fooled by the name of the grape, petite sirah. Contrary to what you may think, this guy is anything but petite. The flavor profile of petite sirah is similar to a mix between Zinfandel and Syrah. While full-bodied and spicy, it is rarely as jammy as Zinfandel. They tend to be big, muscular, wines rich in taste and color, and pair well with stronger meats (beef, game, lamb) and spicy sauces. With high tannin levels and deep pigments, petite sirah is an excellent blending grape. It also can make an impressive wine on its own.
Earlier this week we joined friends at one of our favorite local wine bars, Trisler’s. It was raining and quite chilly (rare for San Diego), and the weather put me in the mood for a big red. My eye was immediately drawn to the Line 39 Petite Sirah. Line 39 is produced in Lake County, CA, an emerging wine region located north of Napa Valley and the North Coast appellation. Line 39 refers to the latitude where many of the great wine growing regions of the world are found. And this night, I discovered a great petite sirah.
This wine is full of rich ripe fruits, elegant and not overly complex, with a wonderful long finish. Unlike some other petite sirah’s that can be a bit heavy, this one was very drinkable on its own, and paired excellent with our platter of salami, cheese, and grapes. It went exceptionally well with Manchego!
I fell in love with this wine – it was a perfect pairing for the occasion, food, and weather! When I started researching where I could purchase more, I fell head over heels. The suggested retail price for this little gem is only $10! Based on taste, I expected it to be priced in the $20-$30 range. It is available at BevMo, and the winery website lists distributors (both US and International). If you find it, spend the $10 – you’ll be glad you did!