Petite Sirah, We Loved You: Favorites at the 2014 Dark & Delicious

What the Cake?

An adorable (and delicious) cake from What the Cake?

Last Friday, we had fun celebrating a single varietal at the Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah™ event when it showcased Petite Sirahs during another outstanding wine and food experience.  After enjoying tastes from over 70 wineries, restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors, we ended the evening happy and satiated (and not coincidentally, quite full). Even better, part of the Silent Auction proceeds will go to further promote this delicious varietal to a wider audience.

We will let you know which wines were our favorites, in case you want to do some research, tasting, and purchasing on your own.  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 2014 Dark and Delicious

2014 Dark and Delicious

2014 Dark and 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:

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

Berryessa Gap is a winery in Winters whose vineyards lie beneath a break in California’s Coastal Range known to locals as the Berryessa Gap, a prominent and beautify landmark  – 2011 Durif

Clayhouse Wines has a 150-year-old adobe structure on their property and a tasting room just one block off the square in Paso Robles – 2011 Show Pony Petite Sirah

Concannon Vineyard was built in Livermore in 1883, making the Concannons one of the founding families of California Wines – 2009 Reserve Petite Sirah, 2010 Captain Joe’s Petite Sirah

Don Sebastiani & Sons is a family owned and operated wine negociant in Sonoma that strives to consistently deliver exceptional wines of dependable value – 2012 The Crusher Petite Sirah (Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Alicante Bouschet) and 2011 Americano Petite Sirah (Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot)

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 

Pat Paulsen Vineyards

Pat Paulsen Vineyards

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 Napa Valley Petite Sirah, 2003 Black Label Collection Petite Sirah

Robert Biale Vineyards is a premier producer of old vine and single vineyard Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines, based in the town of Napa – 2011 Royal Punishers 

Tres Sabores (“three flavors” in Spanish) is in St. Helena, where they grow organically certified Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot grapes – 2010 Petite Sirah

Vina Robles brings their Swiss heritage to Paso Robles, helping them combine the balance associated with European wines with the clean, bright flavors of California grapes – 2011 Red⁴ (Syrah, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre, Grenache)

Favorite Food Offerings at the 2014 Dark and Delicious

Ahi Tuna from Towne House Restaurant

Ahi Tuna from Towne House Restaurant

Attending a single-varietal-focused tasting event is always interesting, but another appeal of Dark and Delicious is the breadth and quality of 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 food professionals and places out for your future needs (and travels) in the Bay Area (addresses are provided for the restaurants):

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

Coco Tutti Confections – Blood Orange Bon Bon, Liquid Vanilla Caramel,  and Ginger Caramel with Peanuts and Thai Chili (no phone number, email at

Il Posto Trattoria – Beef Bolognese with Creamy Polenta (4211 Solano Avenue, Napa, 707-251-8600)

Oz Catering – Chocolate Kahlua Truffle (415-505-5529) 

Pulled Pork Slider

Pulled Pork Slider from Royal Raspberry Catering

Royal Raspberry Catering – Pulled Pork Slider with Spicy Coleslaw  (510-538-8162)

Superior Farms – Pulled Lamb Shoulder with Chipotle Cream (800-226-5262) 

Wild Boar Tortellini

Wild Boar Tortellini from Sweet Pea Catering

Sweetpea Catering – Wild Boar Tortellini with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Sauce  (707-666-5593)

Towne House – Seared Ahi Tuna with Mediterranean Tapenade  (2505 West Turner Road, Lodi, 209-371-6160)

What the Cake? – Vanilla Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream  (510-316-3711)

We also really enjoyed the Lionza and Extra Mature Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar cheeses from Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese but heck, we always like their cheese.

PS I Love You GroupiePS I Love You is a non-profit advocacy organization created to promote, educate, and legitimize Petite Sirah as a noble 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 VIP entrance to events, discounted rates at events, a T-shirt, 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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