Ripe, juicy, attractively assertive, with traces of spice.
What I love about wine descriptions is that you can use the same to describe a hot date. And why not?
Although I didn’t find a date with those delicious specifications, I did slake my thirst for good wine with a Petite Sirah that had those very qualities. It was the 2012 Bahue (BAY-hue), which is made right here in California.
(See end of post on where to get it, and also a Special Discount from NakedWines.com)
Petite Sirah Vs. Regular Syrah
What is Petite Sirah? And is it different from Syrah or Shiraz? Why should you care?
Wine is decidedly one of the most seductive and sexy libations around, and it is always handy to know a few basics on this liquid poetry from the gods, especially to impress your date. Or when you are at a lost for words, uttering a few interesting vinous tidbits will keep her enthralled and give the appearance that you are a worldly kinda guy.
Last week, we sang the praises of a lush, rich Shiraz wine from Australia, the 2011 Fletcher Shiraz, and we learned that Syrah and Shiraz are the same. This week we delve into another big red, which is distantly related to its cousin Shiraz from Down Under, yet tracing its DNA back to good old France.
Petite Syrah: In Search of Her True Origins
In 1880, Dr. Francois Durif, a grape nurseryman from Southern France, created a new varietal and modestly named it Durif. He grew it from the seed of an ancient grape called Peloursin. However, he did not know the pollination source. (Like us, grapes also have male and female parts, so Dr. Durif knew who the “mother” was, but not the “father”.) His new varietal was known for its saturated color and dense fruit clusters.
Durif or Petite Sirah was introduced into California during the 1870’s and quickly became the favorite of home winemakers in the early 1900s. During Prohibition in the 1920s, Petite Sirah was shipped to the East coast, ensuring a steady supply of raw material for underground wine operations.
Then, in 1964, Concannon Winery released the Petite Sirah as a single varietal wine. It quickly became very popular, although its genealogy was still murky.
It wasn’t until 1996 that Dr. Carole Meredith at UC Davis revealed the “father” of Petite Sirah using DNA technology. It was another old vine from France, Syrah (or known as Shiraz in Australia). Finally this dark, luscious grape found its true parentage.
Modern winemakers are rediscovering the many fine qualities of Petite Sirah, such as Jacqueline Bahue, who created the Bahue Petite Sirah for NakedWines.com.
Pairing Akin to a Kiss
Although Petite Sirah is often paired with meats, due to its strong dark flavors, I found that pairing the 2012 Bahue Petite Sirah with goat cheese works beautifully. The mild tang and creamy texture of the cheese helps to suspend the deep berry, spicy flavors of the wine on the palate. This gives it a pleasant lingering aftertaste, like the first deep kisses you enjoy with your paramour.
So, do try my Goat Cheese & Sweet Potato Nibbles, and serve it with the Bahue Petite Sirah. The Bahue Petite Sirah is exclusive to NakedWines.com, and, as mentioned last week, they’re offering my readers a Special Discount!
In case you missed it last week, NakedWines.com will deliver twelve bottles of wine to your door and give you a hundred-dollar discount, so you can get all twelve wines for just sixty bucks…but you’ll need to go back to last weeks post to get the discount code.
Though I am an angel investor in NakedWines.com, I don’t receive any compensation for this offer. I’m sharing it here because I love supporting independent winemakers and I love sharing a good deal with my readers. So drink up, because this offer won’t last forever.
Your Kitchen Seduction Ally,
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