A Wednesday Night Petite Sirah

Pedroncelli Winery is a family run winery in Geyserville founded in 1927.  They graciously sent me a bottle of their 2008 Dry Creek Valley Family Vineyards Petite Sirah as a sample.  Previous vintages have received some attention from Wine Enthusiast and other critics so I was ready to see if this $15 bottle was still a good buy.

About the Wine- From the Winery

This wine was grown in the Dry Creek Valley in a vineyard that has been planted with Petite Sirah since the early 1900’s.  The wine is 96% Petite Sirah and 4% Zinfandel with a 13.8% alcohol content.  It was aged in American and French Oak for 16 months. (For more information see http://www.pedroncelli.com )

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Pours deep plum, with a nose of blueberry, cocoa, a little bit of cinnamon.  It has a little bit of a less powerful nose than other Petite Sirahs I have tried.  The wine has a bit of a thick feel in the mouth with tastes of blackberries and has some tartness that I think could even out with some decanting.  I am actually going to let the bottle breathe for a bit and come back to it…

I am trying the bottle again a couple of hours later and notice a huge difference.  The tartness has evened out to show much more smoothness with some nice tannins and a little spice in the finish.   In keeping in mind that this bottle retails for $15, I think it is a solid Petite Sirah.  Obviously, if you would like to spend an extra $10+ you could get a lot more depth but I have definitely had some real duds for this price point.  The Pedroncelli is definitely better than the rest of the pack at $15.  I would try a bottle if I were you.

Victor Hugo 2007 Petite Sirah

Petite Sirahs are becoming part of my daily routine and I am definitely not complaining.  Today I received a bottle of 2008 Petite Sirah from Victor Hugo Winery as a sample.  Victor Hugo Winery is a small, family winery in Paso Robles.  Vic started the winery in 1985 and continues to run it with his wife and family.  I don’t think I have ever had the opportunity to try their wines so I am ready to get started.

About the Wine- From the Winery

This wine is 100% Petite Sirah grown in Paso Robles.  It was harvested in Sept-Oct. 2007 and aged for 25 months in American Oak Barrels.  The wine has a 13.8% alcohol content and retails for $22.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Victor Hugo Petite Sirah pours an intense plum color.  The wine has a nose of berries with a heavy hit of spicy clove.  It definitely has a distinct nose as compared to the other Petite Sirahs I have reviewed.  The clove shows up immediately in taste as well.  This full bodied wine also has notes of black licorice, oak, and blackberry.  It ends with plenty of tannins and a dry, spicy finish.  The Victor Hugo is unique Petite Sirah.  If you are looking for a whimpy, fruity wine, this isn’t for you.  This definitely caters to those who love big, bold, and spicy flavors.

My Wine Rating: B

Starting Off My Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations with a Dry Rosé

Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year.  There are so many incredible dishes and wonderful flavors but it makes it hard to serve just one wine.  I try to serve a few different wines to bring out the flavors in each dish.  One of my favorite wines to serve with turkey is a dry rosé.  The rosé (ideally with notes of cranberries or cherries) will complement the turkey as well as the dishes that accompany it.  Frederick Wildman was kind enough to send me a bottle of Michel Torino Malbec Rosé and it is definitely a nice pairing with turkey.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Michel Torino Malbec Rosé 2011 is 100% Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  It retails for $13 and for more information see www.FrederickWildman.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Michel Torino Malbec Rosé pours a bright strawberry color in the glass.  The nose is very fragrant with aromas of melon, cherries, and a hint of rosemary.  The palate is packed with fruit flavors including notes of cherry and strawberry.  The finish is dry and spicy with lingering white pepper.  Light, refreshing, and food-friendly…a really nice match for your turkey and cranberries!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This dry rosé pairs well with turkey, cranberries, or a salad with pomegranates, candied nuts, and goat cheese (one of my favorite Thanksgiving salads)

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

Three Twins Ice Cream Santa Monica

Just a quick note that Three Twins Ice Cream is now open in Santa Monica!  I first discovered Three Twins at Oxbow Market in Napa.  I am excited that now I don’t have to go very far to grab a scoop or two on a homemade waffle cone!  So, if you happen to be near Main Street in Santa Monica, stop in and grab a scoop.  I would suggest the Cookies and Cream, Mint Confetti, or Mocha Difference if you are a first timer!

Three Twins Main Street Storefront
Three Twins Main Street storefront
Great flavor selection!
Great flavor selection!
So many good things to choose from!
So many good things to choose from!

Three Twins Santa Monica

2726 Main StSanta Monica, CA 90405

A Balanced Beaujolais Blanc- Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc 2010

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in a live tasting event hosted by Discover Beaujolais on Twitter.  Four very different bottles of Beaujolais arrived at my door last week and yesterday we had the chance to taste them and tweet about them.  Beaujolais has long been the underdog of French wines, looked down upon by many wine snobs, and viewed as a “less serious” wine.  After tasting all 4 wines, I can honestly say that while I love a great, expensive Burgundy, I really enjoyed the Beaujolais.  For under $20, each bottle delivered a wonderful wine that was easy to sip and perfect for summer BBQ’s.

The first wine we sipped was a Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun.  This Beaujolais Blanc is made from the Chardonnay grape and was a great way to start the tasting. (reviews of the other 3 bottles to follow next week)

About the Wine- From the Winery

Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc is 100% Chardonnay from France.  It has 12% alcohol and retails for $15.97.  For more information see www.LouisDressner.com

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Beaujolais Blanc has a crisp, fruity nose.  This light-bodied wine has tastes of pear, apple, and citrus that combine with nice mineral notes.  It’s not complex but it is so easy to sip and perfect for a warm summer afternoon.   Definitely give this wonderfully balanced Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun a try and let me know what you think!  Cheers and enjoy the weekend!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine would go perfectly with grilled seafood including tuna and sea bass.

*This wine was provided to me as a sample for the purpose of participating in a live tasting event