Dark and Delicious Does It Again

Silent Auction Table at Dark & Delicious

Silent Auction Table at Dark & Delicious

The Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah™ event in Alameda two weeks ago showcased Petite Sirahs during another outstanding wine and food experience.  After checking out over 50 premium wineries and over 30 fabulous Napa and Bay Area restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors, we left the event satiated (and full).  This fun evening was made even better by knowing that part of the Silent Auction proceeds would go to benefit the East Bay SPCA.

We wanted to let you know which wines were our favorites, in case you want to do some research, tasting, and purchasing on your own (and you weren’t able to attend the event yourself).  If you enjoy Petite Sirah, you may want to check these wineries.  If you aren’t that familiar with Petite Sirah, please use the list below to guide your introduction.  We’ll also tell you which Bay Area food purveyors made our taste buds the happiest at the event.

Favorite Wines at the 2013 Dark and Delicious

2013 Dark & Delicious

2013 Dark & Delicious

Part of the mission of event organizer PS I Love You is to emphasize the terroir uniqueness amongst Petite Sirahs, and Dark and Delicious helped achieve that with wines made from grapes grown all over California.  Some of the wineries were new to us and some weren’t, but that’s why we enjoy going to these events – revisiting old friends and making new discoveries.  If you are looking for delicious Petite Sirahs (and Petite Sirah-based blends), these are the ones we recommend based on how they were tasting that evening (all are in California):

Andis Wines is a modern boutique winery located in Plymouth, in historic Amador County 2010 Petite Sirah

Clayhouse Wines has an 150-year-old adobe structure on their property and a tasting room just one block off the square in Paso Robles2009 Show Pony Petite Sirah

Concannon Vineyard was built in Livermore in 1883, making the Concannons one of the founding families of California Wines2008 Nina’s Cuvée, 2007 Captain Joe’s, and 2004 Heritage Petite Sirahs

Fenestra Winery was started in 1976 by owners Fran and Lanny Replogle in Livermore, and they’ve been in their current location for over 30 years 2010 Ghielmetti Vineyard Livermore Valley Petite Sirah

Gustafson Family Vineyards has the highest elevation estate vineyard and winery in Sonoma County, at the location of a former sheep ranch in Healdsburg 2009 Petite Sirah

Heringer Estates is a family winery in Clarksburg involving siblings, spouses, and children, working with grapes grown in the fertile soils of the Sacramento River Delta 2008 Petite Sirah

Pat Paulsen Vineyards had closed in the early 1990’s but has been revived by son Monty Paulsen, a graduate of UC Davis, who is working out of Oakland to continue his father’s tradition of producing outstanding wines 2010 Sierra Foothills Petite Sirah, 2010 Rancho Las Juntas (Petite Sirah & Zinfandel blend)

Robert Biale Vineyards is a premier producer of old vine and single vineyard Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines, based in the town of Napa 2008 Robert Biale Vineyard Petite Sirah, 2009 Thomann Station Petite Sirah, and 2010 Like Father Like Son (Petite Sirah & Syrah blend)

Rock Wall Wine Company is housed in a converted 40,000 square-foot airplane hangar located on the former Alameda Naval Air Base which was decommissioned in 1997  2011 Napa Valley Petite Sirah

Shadowbrook Winery is located in Walnut Creek, and now offers Extra Virgin Olive Oil to their customers as well2010 Petite Sirah, 2010 Double Trouble (Petite Sirah & Petit Verdot blend)

Stage Left Cellars is primarily focused on Rhone varietals, with a tasting room in Oakland that is usually open just once a month – 2009 Petite Sirah

Favorite Food Offerings at the 2013 Dark and Delicious

Cuisine by Lela

Brown Sugar Bacon Mini Grilled Cheese Bites, from Cuisine by Lela

Attending a single-varietal-focused tasting event is always interesting, but another appeal of Dark and Delicious is the noticeable effort made with the food offerings.  We found an interesting variety of choices, an adequate number of servings for the crowd, and clear efforts to pair well with the wines nearby.  These are the restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors that impressed us the most that evening, along with what they were serving.  We highly recommend you seek these people and places out for your future needs (and travels) in the Bay Area (addresses are provided for the restaurants):

Asena Restaurant – Pork Loin Stuffed with Kale Pesto and Pequillo Peppers, with a Fire Roasted Pepper Coulis (2508 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, 510-521-4100)

California Rose Catering – Chili Roasted Pork Crostini with a Parsley, Mint, Cilantro, and Basil Chimichurri (510-644-4473)

Coco Tutti Confections – Liquid Vanilla Caramel and Coffee Hazelnut Caramel (no phone number, email at sales@cocotutti.com)

Corners Tavern

Marinated Baby Beets, from Corners Tavern

Corners Tavern – Marinated Baby Beets, Blue Cheese Mousse, and Pistachio Brittle (1342 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, 925-948-8711)

Cuisine by Lela – Brown Sugar Bacon Mini Grilled Cheese Bites with Balsamic Reduction (415-272-0492)

Eat Drink Be Merry Catering –  Ginger Hoisin Pulled Pork Sliders with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Crispy Shallots, and Cucumber Namasu Salad (925-808-1287)

Healdsburg Toffee Company

Almond Toffee, from Healdsburg Toffee Company

Healdsburg Toffee Company – Almond Toffee, and Cayenne Pecans with Chocolate (707-738-1527)

Il Posto Trattoria – Oven Roasted Polenta with Braised Oxtail Ragu (4211 Solano Avenue, Napa, 707-251-8600)

Mama Tina’s Ravioli – Ground Beef and Turkey Meatballs (707-849-7046)

We also really enjoyed the San Joaquin Gold and Extra Mature Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar from Fiscalini Cheese Company but heck, we always like their cheese.

PS I Love You is a non-profit advocacy organization created to promote, educate, and legitimize Petite Sirah as a heritage variety with a special emphasis on its terroir uniqueness.    Interested consumers can support PS I Love You by becoming a PS “Groupie.”  Membership benefits include early invitations to events (at a discounted rate), VIP entrance at events, notifications of new releases and specials, informative newsletters, and an annual Groupie BBQ with winemakers. For more information, or to join and ensure early notification about next year’s Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah™, please follow the link at the beginning of this paragraph.


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