Tuesday, December 7, 2010

P.S. I Love You, Especially if you're a 2007 Parducci!

P.S. stands for Petite Sirah, the red-headed stepchild of California red varietals. I happen to be a big fan of Petite Sirah, for me the grape can combine the structure of a great Cabernet with the intense fruit of a delicious Zinfandel. Some wineries in this state blend Petite Sirah with Cab or Zin while others like Parducci and Stag's Leap produce single varietal bottlings. I was sent the 2007 Parducci Petite Sirah to sample, along with their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon which I reviewed here. If you're interested in learning more about Petite Sirah, click here to visit the P.S. I love you advocacy group.

I wanted to open this bottle tonight and had to plan a meal around it, but I took some time to taste and think about the Parducci before I began to cook. Right away I love the color, like purple velvet drapes pouring into my glass. There was a weighty feeling, the wine seemed to command my attention and let me know in no uncertain terms that it had some presence in my glass.

After talking about an hour to do laundry, assemble dinner's ingredients, email, and tweet, I was ready to taste the Petite Sirah. Juicy blueberries, cocoa powder, violets and earth all played with my olfactory sense. Nothing was too intense, but each note lingered long enough to make itself known. I sensed that if I was more knowledgeable, I'd have allowed even more time to open, Parducci's Petite Sirah could even use a decant!

That first taste reminded me why I love Petite Sirah, power and finesse. Graceful even, because none of the tobacco, cedar or berry notes weighed down my palate. They didn't stay too long, exiting after what felt like the right amount of time. Quantifying the "right" amount of time isn't something I can do, rather it's a sensation I get after having tasted a lot of wine over the years. My friends, the tannins, built the wine, keeping it in shape so to speak. The finish was clean and simple, which worked perfectly.

Some of the nitty-gritty details about this tasty wine include the fact that it spent 22 months in oak with 40% of that being in neutral American oak barrels and 60% in redwood tanks. Parducci bottled this Petite Sirah a little over a year ago. At 13.5% alcohol by volume, my loyal readers will note that this pleases me to no end.

At the suggested retail price of $10.99, Parducci nailed the QPR. A quick internet search found some merchants selling the Petite Sirah for as low as $7.99. That's a roundhouse kick to the QPR, sending it into rarefied air and making the B rating and strong BUY recommendation that much easier to bestow. Go buy this wine.

Food Time:

Tonight's pairing was steak sandwiches and let me tell you, by some miracle I didn't screw up dinner and the pairing worked perfectly. Quick and dirty recipe: in a cast iron pan on medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the following: diced sun dried tomatoes, diced bell peppers and diced onions. Add salt and pepper as well as a pinch of cayenne pepper and cook for about eight minutes or until the pepper skins are browned. remove to a bowl.

Next, slice steak into thin slices, pour two tablespoons of soy sauce and a teaspoon of barbecue sauce over the steak, then about a half teaspoon of crushed garlic and some salt and pepper. Stir all of this together then throw it into the cast iron pan. Watch out because it'll cook quickly.

When the meat is browned, throw it into the bowl with the veggies and cover all of that back up. Preheat your oven to 400F and get those dinner rolls out, the long torpedo shaped ones. Slice them open and stuff in the mix of meat and veggies, then stuff some shredded cheese in there too, I used smoked jalapeno jack.

Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil and cook it for ten minutes. By this time you will be starving so have some more wine. After the cheese has begun to melt, partially unwrap the sandwich so the open face is exposed to the air and put it in for another five or six minutes, to gently toast some of the bread.

Remove from the oven and drizzle a little more barbecue sauce on the sandwich. then cut in half and eat. Enjoy the way the tannins from the wine and the protein from the meat complement each other and how the ripe fruit of the Petite Sirah plays well with the richness of the seasoned steak.


This wine was sent as a media sample for review purposes.

Beau Carufel


  1. Great post, really luv the descriptor interplay, against the backdrop of the mundane everyday routines and your thoughts on quantifying, too funny but still well said. Now, that I got rather snobby flattery out of my system and flailing about like a fresh caught rainbow trout on the banks of my favorite fishing spot, I feel much better. Honestly though a good read.


  2. You are such a snob, you remind me of..me! :-) Thanks for commenting Bill, always appreciated. What wine would you pair with a rainbow trout though? A Mersault for me, or maybe Torrontes

  3. Entertaining post! I've actually had this one (which is rare since I live in the middle of nowhere), although I would never be able to describe it as eloquently as you have... Love the food pairing idea, will definitely have to try it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Hmmm, rainbow trout...depending on how it's prepared..I find many foods [especially chicken] are a food pairing blank canvas. But if pressed for a quick answer, I'd would say a lovely Banfi Pinot Gris, would work out nicely.

    Oh btw folks, the wine described in the post above is available in vast quanities at the Chula Vista Costco for $7. Cheers!

  5. Very interesting idea with the Banfi Pinot Grigio, I assumed it would be too light to stand up to even a mild fish like trout. Will have to give that a shot sometime!