Don't let the name confuse you. This is no dainty wine. Grab yourself a glass of dark, bold Petite Sirah.
What Is Petite Sirah?
If you're already a fan of Syrah, you might be wondering whether Petite Sirah is the junior version of the super popular Australian wine. No, sir. Petite Sirah is a unique type of grape, also known as Durif, which produces a distinctive, full-bodied red wine.
Durif grapes are hybrids, and they first came on the scene in the mid-19th century. French botanist Francois Durif gets credit for crossing Syrah vines with Peloursin vines, ultimately producing small grapes with high tannin and acidity. In other words, the perfect grapes for red wine.
Where's It Produced?
Durif grapes originated in France, they didn't really gain popularity until they landed in California. There, winemakers started referring to them as Petite Sirah grapes, due to their similarity to Syrah grapes, and bottling them under the same name.
Petite Sirah grapes are super rare, with only about 10,000 acres to their name. California is still one of the biggest producers of Petite Sirah, though you can also get great bottles from Israel and South Australia.
What's It Taste Like?
Forget everything you know about Syrah. Instead, think fruity blueberry and plum flavors with rich hints of chocolate and bites of black pepper. You might even note some slightly bitter black tea notes. Petite Sirah has a medium acidity, making it super easy to drink.
While many bottles of Petite Sirah boast similar flavor profiles, there are some basic differences. Some Napa Valley winemakers age Petite Sirah to give it bigger and bolder flavors. Other winemakers blend it with Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon to make deep, well-balanced reds.
Why You'll Love Petite Sirah:
Everyone knows that red wine is basically a health food, right? Well, if you're looking for a bottle that's packed with the wine-focused nutrients you need, you're going to want to reach for a bottle of Petite Sirah. It's known for its high levels of anthocyanin, which means it has tons of antioxidants.
Great Food Pairings for Petite Sirah:
This bold red can easily drown out lighter foods, so be sure to pair Petite Sirah with rich, hearty dishes. Think aged cheeses, roasted vegetables and rich mole or barbecue sauces. This red also works well with curries, as long as they skip the sweet flavors and focus on the rich spices.