wine councilOn a sun-dappled San Diego Sunday afternoon, our Occasional Wine Council gathered to celebrate life, taste wine as well as the delicious food we had all prepared. Robin and Marc welcomed us into their spellbinding backyard, and off to the task we went!

The focus this time around was on women winemakers and Petite Sirah. We started, however, with Vezer Family Vineyards’ 2019 Blue Victorian Sauvignon Blanc. Marc presented us with a salad that featured apples, walnuts, beets, celery, arugula, Gorgonzola, and dates. The wine had a lovely crisp nose, was fruit-forward on the palate with great balance and a long finish. It paired well with the salad and with bacon-wrapped dates.

Mushroom Tarts and Phyllo Spinach Triangles

Mushroom Tarts and Phyllo Spinach Triangles

Next up was the 2017 Headline Red Blend from the Tres Sabores family in Sonoma County. Featuring the St. Laurent grape, one I was unfamiliar with, Malbec is also blended in. Ripe red fruits explode on the nose with bright fruit on the palate. It paired quite well with bacon-wrapped dates and Sue’s mushroom tarts and spinach triangles with phyllo crust. This wine sells for $28 and would be well worth your while picking up.

Cuban Potato PuréeWe proceeded to the first of three Pinot Noirs, OTWC’s 2016 vintage. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is synonymous with Pinot Noir and there was something amiss with this bottle. There was a bit of funk on the nose, which blew off somewhat, but I have a suspicion this wine was corked. Linda S. prepared a heavenly Cuban potato purée filled with a seafood ragout of calamari, shrimp and scallops with a garlic, lemon, and tomato sauce. More, please!

Left Coast Pinot NoirI have fond memories of my visit to Left Coast Cellars a few years back. We tasted their 2016 Cali’s Cuvée Pinot Noir. It’s commonly held red wine with meat, white wine with fish, but not so fast! Pinot Noir and salmon are a match made in heaven. Linda M. took this into account when she brought smoked salmon on bagels with cream cheese, capers and onions. This wine has an unmistakable Pinot Noir nose. With bright cherry on the palate, it’s full-bodied and was a great pairing with the salmon.

Our final Pinot Noir was Anchor Valley’s 2017 vintage. Its nose was far more subtle. This bone-dry wine paired quite nicely with Todd’s Italian meatballs. Only 239 cases were produced.

wine councilYou may be curious about the title of this post: #psiloveyou. The ps stands for Petite Sirah. The iloveyou should be obvious. We tasted two vintages of Theopolis Winery’s Petite Sirah; the 2016 and 2017. Petite Sirah is a big wine and typically is quite dark. Winery owner and winemaker Theodora Lee, better known as Theo-patra, has produced stunning wines. These two were no exception. Deeply colored with a robust nose, These were exceptional. I was compelled to make a Moroccan Beef Stew, a hearty dish to go with a bold wine. I’m a big fan of the Instant Pot, and it’s what I used in making this.

We progressed to the 2017 Merisi Petite Sirah from their Diener Ranch vineyard. Another powerful wine, I picked up blueberries and smoke on the nose, and lots of chocolate on the palate. The grapes were organically grown, sustainably farmed, and hand-picked. Marc offered us a brisket chalupa with Mexican crema, chipotle and honey. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

We brought this sublime afternoon to a sad conclusion with Berryessa Gap Vineyards’ 2017 Petite Sirah. This grape accounts for 85% of this wine, with the addition of 7% Zinfandel and 7% Peloursin. A complex wine, it paid quite nicely with Mike and Noreen’s Asian pork tacos. With full and happy tummies, with bade farewell to each other and vowed to do it all again!