29 February, 2012

Liza's Pinot Summit Favorites

Lazy Creek
 Last Saturday's Pinot Summit put on by the wonderful Barbara Drady at Affairs of the Vine was a wine filled delight.  Starting around 1:30, we reported to the FiDi Hilton and were swept away by an assortment of Pinot.  Pinot Noir can be difficult, but when done well, is amazing.  And done well can mean so many different styles from restrained, chiseled Burgundian to florid, nearly Zinlike.  There is a Pinot for everyone.  Tasting blind throws a cool angle in as well.  With no label, place or producer visible, it really is about one's perception of the glass in front of you.  I always find something new to love.  This year, there was a lot to love.
I had a tie for my number one spot and voted accordingly.  So in Alphabetical order:

'09 Lazy Creek Vineyards, Estate Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California, USA. ($42) This wine was a bright garnet with aromas of cherry and a drop of vanilla.  It had a nice acidity and a sensation of balanced deliciousness.  I physically had trouble spitting it out because it was so tasty.  They are in the process of updating the tasting room, which is in Philo.  It sounds like a place I would definitely like to visit to try the other varieties of wine that they produce.  If the Pinot is any indication, there are treats out there to find.

Deb Mayo, our Pinot Hero!
'09 Petite Abeille, Petite Abeille Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California USA ($35).  This wine had a seductive color, clear garnet with coppery hints. It has that delicious, RRV Pinot perfumey cherry with spiced vanilla.  Flavors to match with a nice acidity and a lovely cherry kissed lingering finish.  We got to chat a little with Deb Mayo who grows the grapes and makes the wine.  She uses four clones to grow the fruit that shapes her final product; Calera, Pommard, Swan 828  I found her fun and informative and will certainly be  on the lookout for this wonderful wine.

More later on some additional favortites as well as a breakdown of the top vote getters in the other categories.

28 February, 2012

Sideways - The Stage Play and more with Rex Pickett

So much fun at Saturday's 10th Annual Pinot Summit, put on by Affairs of the Vine.  Blind tasting 40 Pinots, a sparkling wine reception and then a Grand tasting?  We tried a lot of fun things and expanded our reach by dividing and conquering.  But luckily, I talked BrixChick Heidi into coming to the same seminar where we were entertained by "Sideways" author, Rex Pickett  as well as the Pinot stylings of Leucadia and Kenneth Volk.  Pinot, literature and hollywood dish?  We were in heaven.  
I have only ever seen the movie, which has one of my all time favorite scenes, which I quoted here    Speaking with Rex, I discovered that scene evolved out of the film making process and as a result of a note from Alexander Payne.  Now, I love Mr. Payne's work, but am a little cranky with him, since he is the cork holding back our enjoyment of a Sideways sequel.  So you could say he is cork blocking our movie enjoyment of more fun with Miles and Jack.  Well, you could say something else, but I will say "cork" blocking.  Facebook write-in campaign! Free Miles and Jack!  Try Merlot! Merlot?  Yes.  Rex is also coming out with a wine, of all things a Merlot aptly named "Apostate".  Heretical as that may be, since he partnered with the wonderful folks at Sunstone,  I am sure it will be tasty!

 Rex shared many anecdotes about his life and how his work draws on dark places in his journey to bring us his wonderful stories.  All we could say was , "More please!"  Luckily, he will be at WBC12, where I plan to get a copy of Vertical autographed.  And  "Sideways" the stage play will be opening up end of April driving distance at the Ruskin Group Theater in Santa Monica.  I feel a BrixChicks road trip coming on!  See you there!

PS: Heidi and I still manged to get a taste of some wonderful Oregon Pinot that had been poured at a different workshop:

27 February, 2012

Straw - Carnival food in SF

Let me start with this: Deep fried candy.

For one of our monthly dinners, Luscious Lush Thea and I hit Straw SF.  I had driven by this Hayes Valley restaurant so many times and been enticed by the Tilt-a-whirl booth in the window and the fun vibe.  The menu was a lock when I discovered they had all kinds of winter should-be-forbidden comfort food and it seemed like the perfect atmosphere to catch up and shake off the winter/work/boy/insert-your-personal-challenge-here blues.  We had an awesome time!  The service was impeccable with our fun waiter answering our sometimes technical questions thoroughly while he still managed to make us,  as well as his other 10 tables, feel cared for.  The Mac and cheese was delicious, with creamy smoky cheesy goodness and a special ingredient: Bacon!  The Tots were elevated by the addition of blackberry BBQ sauce.  And we were encouraged to play with our food.  Notice the blackberry coulis/chipotle bbq sauce eyeliner, delicious cole slaw earring and the crisp house made potato chip fright wig above?  That was all that was left when the pulled pork sandwich arrived.  Yum!  We made sure to save room for the Oklahoma: a selection of fried candy bars.  Served hot from the fryer, we had the best time trying to bite and guess the variety (Milky way? Twix?) Our favorites were Rolos and Snickers.  Surprisingly delightful!  And the hit of the night was the Cotton Candy cocktail.  This innovative drink mixed infused Sabe vodka with a champagne that was brought separately  and poured tableside over cotton candy that filled martini glasses.  It immediately melted down into a Blue Hawaii blue sweet libation.  No picture?  It was too intriguing and vanished before we could photograph.  Just one more reason to return, which I am sure we will!
Straw is located at 203 Octavia Boulevard
Monday-Friday 11am-2pm  and 5-10pm
Saturday 10am-3pm and 5-10pm
Sunday 10am-3pm and 5-9pm

26 February, 2012

Oscar Night and The Crusher Rose of Pinot

What do you serve with good friends, great fashion and a fun annual event?  Don Sebastiani and Sons The Crusher Rose of Pinot of course.  This is a wine with beauty and taste enough to to walk any red carpet.  As soon as I poured it, there were Oohs and Ahhs for the lovely rose petal pink color.  Then when they got their glasses, more exclamations of delight for the yummy aromas.  Stone fruit.  Jolly Rancher Cherry Stick,.  Watermelon juice.  And a river fresh mineral splash.  Of course when the sipping started, the yummy noises stopped because we were too intent on enjoying the lovely fresh balance of the wine.  With peaches, thyme,and red fruit and a lovely acidity, along with a nice lemon twist finish, it was a great match for all the bites being passes around.  But I had received this on Valentine's Day with a box of chocolates too delicious for this world from Le Belge.  So I put it to the test with my Movie Candy cupcakes.  Yum!  The wine stood up to the sweetness as beautifully as it did the savory.  So whoever takes home the Oscar, we have a winner in the house.  At only $18 I know what I will be sipping on my parch this Spring!
I received this wine as a sample

25 February, 2012

Prepare to be seduced. - Information about today's (2/25) Pinot Noir Summit

Affairs of the Vine produces an annual summit highlighting that mercurial delight, Pinot Noir.  If you love Pinot and you are reading this without a ticket in hand, you can click here to see if tickets are still available. 

While the Grand Tasting is  amazing, my favorite portion is the actual summit.  Here many examples of Pinot Noir are amassed, disguised in color coded wrappers and we are set loose upon them like quiet,but hungry wine wolves.

Okay, maybe just me.  

But it is super fun to be able to try so many different examples blind.  I am always surprised and delighted with my new discoveries.  Affairs of the Vine empress  evangelist, Barbara Drady,  runs a meticulously wonderful event where you can relax and be charmed by all things Pinot Noir.

The whole agenda is here:
Pinot Noir Showdown ~ A Blind Tasting
1:30-4:00 PM 
Pinot Noir Workshops
4:15-5:15 PM 
Sparkling Wine Tasting
5:30-6:00 PM - 
Grand Awards Tasting & Ceremony
6:00 -8:30 PM 

You can get tickets for just the evening tasting if that is all your schedule will allow.  The Bay Area's favorite meteorologist and celebrated wine aficionado, Spencer Christian of KGO/ABC will emcee the Grand Awards Tasting & Ceremony. Top Pinot Noir winemakers will showcase their wines with a pinot-friendly selection of light hors d'oeuvres. The winners will be unveiled and final results will be announced by wine lover, Mr. Christian at 8:00 PM.

Then, BrixChick Heidi and I will stagger off to sober up.  We hope to see you there!

24 February, 2012

Petite Sirah Prep - Contrast Stags Leap and Ridge Dynamite Hill

 It's nice to have good friends.  With all the BrixChicks otherwise unavailable, I called upon one of my good friends to take up the burden of the extra ticket I found myself with for last week's "Dark and Delicious" event.  Ha! BrixChick stand in Marina jumped at the chance to swill  study a variety.  I thought it would be fun to survey two of my favorites and compare and contrast in advance, so she would have a background to better enjoy this distinctive grape.  So we nabbed some Mexican food we thought would make an interesting pairing and set to work.

'08 Stags Leap, Petite Sirah, Napa, California, USA: This is one of my go-to restaurant wines.  It came out inky dark and ready to drink.  Smooth flavors of black fruit with hints of spice, pepper, berry and a touch of dark chocolate. We found the wine immediately accessible all on its own, and it also tasted good with the meaty spiciness of our food.  Our new friend Jonesing for Wine had a bottle he hated that was an '07.  I found it interesting that he described it as vegetal, a quality to which I know my palate is very forgiving.  Still, I did not find notes I would describe as vegetal either in this sitting or in the Dark and Delicious offerings, so maybe Jonesy got a bad bottle.  Lucky us!  We liked this very much. We hope he will try again with a different vintage.

'04 Ridge, Dynamite Hill, Petite Sirah, Spring Moutain, Napa, California USA:  I have some more of this and I will certainly decant for at least an hour before I serve it.  As expected this had a dark purple color.  It had restrained aromas of dark fruit with a whisper of menthol and a smidge of butterscotch.  The initial flavors were black fruit with dark chocolate in the mid palate. Initially, I thought it was food slutty as it tasted okay (and by okay I mean inscrutable more than tasty) right out of the bottle on its own, but when paired with the steak tacos, YUM!  In combination with the food, the spice, black fruit and chocolate came up and it was markedly more tasty with food.  After about an hour, it had opened up and was tastier as well as complex.  Sort of like reading a Russian novel after you read the Cliff Notes.  Throughout the wine displayed subtle, pretty tannins.  It had been made with fruit that had been destemmed without crushing so that the seeds stayed gently encased in the pulp and skin as well as handled gently to tame the tannins.
It's hard to find, but worth getting.

Dark.  Delicious.  Petite Sirah.

23 February, 2012

Dark and Delicious - Recap of Petite Sirah Event

 Last Friday neither the Bay Bridge closure nor the threat of rain could dampen our enthusiasm as we gathered to participate in the 2012 PS I Love You's Dark and Delicious event held in Alameda at the Rockwall facility.  Since I live in the East Bay, I drove the BART shuttle for my winner Alma Avila and her guest.  BrixChick stand-in Marina and Luscious Lush Thea completed the carload.   So it was pretty much already a party even before we got to the venue.  Traditionally held the Friday after Valentine's Day, this Petite Sirah-a-palooza has something for everyone.  Lots of examples of Petite Sirah and lots of snacks to try with them.  Perennial favorites like Ridge, Stags Leap, Twisted Oak, Tercero, etc., etc.  As the designated driver, I spent more time snacking, spitting and auction shopping than wine tasting.  But I still managed to discover some new favorites

Among them:
J. Baldwin Wines Bold and lush, this Petite Sirah was dark and flavorful. J Baldwin is a small family winery tucked up high in Sonoma county.  You can almost taste the Sonoma sun and the mountain fog in the carefully made wine.

Berryessa Gap: Yummy examples of Petite Sirah as well as one they label "Durif",  Whatever you call it, it was all delicious.

Stage Left Cellars:   I knew this producer primarily for their Rhone blends but was delighted to try their Petite Sirahs.  One had a lovely fruit forward nature with all its grapes from warm weather Paso and another that blended Paso Petite Sirah with cooler climate Russian River which provided a different edge.  Both were super enjoyable and made me resolve to visit their Oakland facility to stock up

Don Sebastiani and Sons, "The Crusher" : I walked my feet off looking for this.  Since I was familiar with the delicious Rose of Pinot, I did not want to leave without trying the Petite Sirah.  I finally found it and was rewarded with a tasty offering made rounder with a little Merlot that added juicy succulence.  I will be looking for this PS as well.

As for the food, there were too many delicious bites to list.

 My stand out was the Bacon Salted Caramels that Nosh This put out.  Salty, bacony, chocolaty and silky sweet.  It brought out both the meaty and sweet elements that go well with Petite Sirah.  No, you didn't need to know this was in the world either, but if you get a chance to try one (or four) make sure you do.  Super yum!

For more details on other things, check out Two Guys from Napa

Many many thanks to Jo Diaz for her tireless efforts to put passion in a glass.  PS I love you, too!

22 February, 2012

Paella a la Sanfranciscana - My entry into the Torres/Wine Enthusiast Paella Contest

I had never made paella before, but since the generous folks at Torres are offering a trip to Spain via a Wine Enthusiast Facebook contest I couldn't resist.  To make it original, my version relies on Dungeness crab.  By using lots of crab as well as basing the broth portion on crab stock, the delicate, briny taste of San Franciscan crustacean is front and center.  It takes some effort but very worth doing.  I used Crios Torrontes as the white wine in the recipe.  It made a lovely pairing as the citrus-stone fruit elegance of the wine went well with the richness of the rice dish.  I later found out the Torres wines are readily available at wine.com.  Next time I will try those!  Meanwhile, here is the recipe:

Paella a la sanfranciscana

Start with Crab stock to enhance the overall “crabbiness” of the dish. 
2 Largish cooked crabs, if you buy them live, boil the night before and let cool in fridge.  If you buy cooked, don’t let the fishmonger clean or crack them
2 quarts water
1 medium yellow onion, rough chop
1 ½ cut chopped tomatoes
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 dried bay leaves
2 tsp black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Over a 6 to 8 quart stockpot, twist the legs off the crab.  Break the small legs off into the pot.  Remove the knuckles and trim the legs and claws.  Crack the trimmed crab pieces to make them easier to eat when served.  Add the small bits that fall off during the cracking to the pot.    Remove the center section of the crab and scrape yellow-green tomalley into the pot.  The graying fleshy bits are the lungs.  Discard those and do not use.  Also remove and discard the head sac, the section behind the face/eyes.  Chop the carapace and toss into pot.  Once the lungs are removed, break the body into four sections to serve in the paella.  Add the trimmings from those to the pots.  Repeat with other crab.  Cover with the 2 quarts water.  Bring to a boil.  As it boils, white foam will bubble up.  Use a ladle to remove the foam.  Pushed from the center to the sides will make it easier.  Reduce the heat so the stock cooks at a fast, steady simmer.

Add the onion, tomato, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme.  Let the stock cook down for about an hour.  The liquid should just cover the crab shells.  Add water if necessary.

Add salt to taste.  At this point it should have a golden color and a rich taste.  If a richer taste is desired, cook down 20 min more.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Refrigerate overnight.  Or put on the back burner while you prepare the rest of the paella.

I adapted a recipe from Whole Foods. 
8 cups good crab stock
1 cup clam juice
8 – 10 threads Spanish Saffron
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
½ cup plus 2 tblsp olive oil
½ lb small squid, cleaned and cut into rings
1 lb small shrimp Peeled and deveined
1 cup dry white wine (we used Crios Torrontes.  Chardonnay may be too oaky)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup tomato sauce
3-4 roasted red peppers chopped
3 ½ cups short grain rice, bomba if possible
¾ cups frozen peas
¾ lbs mussels, cleaned and debearded
¾ cups Littleneck or similar clams, cleaned
Trimmed and cracked claws, legs and bodies of 2 Dungeness crabs

Add, clam juice, saffron, bay leaf and thyme to 8 cups of stock.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Keep hot on the back burner.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a shallow paella pan or ovenproof sauté pan (about 18 inch diameter) heat ½ cup of the olive oil.  Sauté the squid.  Remove when done and set aside. 
Add the remaining tbsps of oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until softened.  Add the tomato sauce and red peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes more, stirring well.  Add the rice to the pan, stirring well to completely coat the rice with the onion mixture.  Return the squid to the pan.  Add the peas.  Stir well.  Pour in 7 cups of the hot broth (reserve one cup) and cook uncovered at a very low simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice begins to absorb most of the liquid.  Stir once to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.  Arrange the shrimp, mussels and clams on top of the paella, pushing them into the rice and broth.  Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, rice is just cooked, the shrimp are pink and mussels and clams have opened. Check after fifteen minutes and if the rice seems very dry, add the remaining cup of broth.  If it looks okay texture wise, just add the trimmed crab legs, claws and bodies and return to oven.  Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with lemon wedges and lots of wine!

If you are reading this before 2./29/2012 it's not too late to enter yourself!

15 February, 2012

Pot Luck #WBW74

Tonight a group of Napa educators and Brix Chicks Liza and Heidi took a break from paper correcting and lesson planning to join in the #WBW74 fun with a value sparkling wine pot luck. Not unlike in one of our classes, we “jig sawed” our wine tasting notes. And we ate good food and laughed. Here’s what we said in the order we drank them:

2010 Sofia Blanc de Blancs (Francis Ford Coppola Wines) (86% Pinot Blanc, 12% Muscat, 2% Riesling): crisp & fresh citrus but also “mushroomy”; “smells nice and funky”

NV Gruet Blanc de Noirs: fresh apple smells, “very light, disappears in your mouth,” “flash of green apple,” “Yum! I like it!” “Plus!” This wine was a favorite of the evening for several of the tasters and it paired extremely well with all the food. And it was just plain fun for Brix Chick Heidi to finally try this wine from New Mexico.

NV Mumm Napa “Cuvee M”: smells of cream, strawberries, and bread/ toast, nice acid, screams out “Asian food,” smooth, crème brulee notes, fizzy, “plus.” This wine was also among the favorites for several tasters and shared by Brix Chick Liza who blogged about it earlier today.

NV Dibon Cava Rosado: smells like a party and looks like a pink party dress; “skittle-aged,” fresh strawberry cream, currant and almond on the finish, fizzy, ""check or check-plus.” The group was divided on this one.

NV Piper Hiedsieck Champagne Brut: unripe kiwi notes, “Yummy!” clean, classic flavor with flinty hints of green fruit; clean and crisp; great with quiche Lorraine and reminiscent of a late lunch in a French bistro a long time ago. “Plus, plus!” This wine was among the favorites for the evening.

2008 Taltarni “Taché” (Pinot Noir-Chardonnay-Pinot Meunier): A clear favorite of the tasters; “Plus, plus!” strawberries and cream; herby and sage-like notes, peach. Brix Chick Heidi was happy to try this sparkler from New South Wales.

NV Chandon “DKNY 20 Year Cuvee”: perfumy nose, cantelope, toasted mallow, a birthday treat.

NV Schloss Biebrich Sekt: smells like a perm but tastes different; mineral splash and like raspberry or peach BonneBell Lip Smacker, sweet; perfume in your mouth; good with dark chocolate cake.

NV Zonin Prosecco: fresh with some almonds or hazelnuts and pairs surprisingly well with the dark chocolate cake; dry.

And last, and probably most colorfully commented on: Peach Amour de Paris: old-school Bath & Body Works; peachy keen jelly bean; peach Schnapps; sophomore year of college; body splash; potpourri."
After this pot luck, Brix Chick Heidi will be on the look out for more Gruet and Taltarni-- and might just pour a glass of Piper Heidsieck the next time she has quiche.

Mumm Napa Cuvee M - A great everyday sparkler #WBW74

 For this episode of Wine Blogging Wednesday, I wanted to share something  I became addicted to earlier this year, Cuvee M from Mumm Napa.  It's a lovely and accessible wine in a sweeter style that makes it  food friendly.  Especially to match Asian foods that can be spicy and rich, this is a super choice, evidenced by its spot as perennial favorite among the wines offered by another of my addictions, P.F. Chang's. And wine.com has it on sale for $19.99

The wine itself has a lovely color--pale gold warmed by peach.  With a touch of creaminess in the mouth feel, it's the kind of offering that will work for sophisticated guests as well as novices whether you are  celebrating something special or just Thursday night. I got flavors of strawberry, stone fruit and a hint of toast.  I was given the wine as a sample but have bought across the Mumm's pyramid since I visited.
Pyramid tasting is trying the wines across a winery's offerings starting with value and moving up to the flagship wines.  In the case of Mumm Napa, the nicest thing was that I found something I loved in all the bands of their pyramid. While I thrilled at the DVX,  all the price bands contained delicious, special sparklers.  One reason is the laser focus on quality exhibited by the team at Mumms.  We tried the base wines of both bracingly acidic Chardonnay and rough edged Pinot Noir.  It is amazing to me that the winemakers can taste and gauge and mix to produce such yummy sparkling wines from these beginnings (although I will admit I polished off my Pinot!).  It reinforced the magic of winemaking to me.

Our tour leader introduced me to concept called "fractioning" where the team makes base wines from all the vineyards and both varieties to come up with still wine that gets blended into the Mumm's offerings across the pyramid.  The Cuvee M pulls from over 50 vineyards and both  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, to come up with the flavors and textures.  The best thing to do is try it!  Fair warning, you will want to try all the offerings - I was also entranced with the Reserve Brut Rose and the Carlos Santana sparkler too.

If you are in Napa, make time for a tour, which Mumm Napa offers daily 10 am - 4:45 More info here:

Budget Brut from the Languedoc #WBW74

February 15th, 2012 is Wine Blogging Wednesday, a monthly event with a special theme in which wine bloggers write about a wine that matches the theme. This month is a theme that I LOVE: Sparkling wines $25 and under.

I just read a very heartening statistic: American consumption of Champagne is on the rise and has increased by at least 20% since 2010. I have certainly added to that increase and have grown to love Champagne and sparkling wines over the past year. There is nothing more wonderful than an expensive, vintage Champagne. However, I cannot afford bottles of '02 Cristal or Krug from 1996 so I am so happy when I can find an affordable alternative, especially if it is under $20. My pick for WBW #74 is:

What makes a pricey champagne (vintage or non-vintage) from Champagne so great to me are the yeasty, toasty notes they acquire from so much ageing on the "lees", which are deposits of yeast in fermentation tanks.

Will a $15 bottle of Brut from the Languedoc have the same yeasty complexity? NO, but it has been aged on lees for 18 months so it has some of that flavor and texture that I love so much.

This sparkler has a good balance of fruit and yeastiness. It is composed of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. It tastes like strawberry jam spread on toasted brioche with slices of tart green apple. It is crisp and dry and has a long, creamy finish making me want to drink more. It pairs especially well with sushi.

This sparkling wine is special and is only carried by K&L Wines, a large wine store in the Bay Area. They import it directly from the producer, Jean -Louis Denois, one of the oldest wineries in the Languedoc region of Southern France and the grapes for this sparkler come from vineyard sites in the French Pyrenees.

If you are not in Northern California just click on the link above and order some of this sparkling wine. You cannot beat the quality of this wine at the price of $14.99.

A Votre Sante! from Xandria

11 February, 2012

Dark And Delicious Winner!

Congratulations to:
Alma Avila
who correctly identified: "Peloursin" as the grape variety crossed with Syrah to produce Petite Sirah.  Thanks so much to all who entered!  And to Luscious Lush Thea for selecting the winner in our random drawing

You can be a winner too, by attending this  fabulous event.  Details here:

06 February, 2012

Dark and Delicious and coming to the East Bay - Win Free D&D tickets here

On February 17th, one of the most fun and educational wine and food events comes to the Bay area.  The Sixth annual Dark and Delicious event will be held 2/17 starting at 6pm at the Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda.  Thanks to the wonderful Jo Diaz, we have two passes to give away.  Just review the question at the end of this post and place your answer the question  in the comments section, and we will draw this Friday 2/ 10 to pick the lucky winner
HINT: Answer and an engaging story here

...and another one here:

Ample parking, expertly paired treats and a chance to survey many different expressions of this engaging grape variety await us.  Petite Sirah has an inky, brooding character.  It will stain your teeth purple. And you will love it!  You simply cannot beat this opportunity to learn more in the best way possible---by experience. 58 Winemakers and 36 purveyors of tempting taste treats will be on hand to show you just how engaging this wine can be.  Names you know and love already like Ridge, Stags Leap and more will be on hand with some that may become your new favorites.  As for the snacks, one word: Paella!  And tons of other sweet/salty/savory yumminess.

Best of luck with our contest,  but if you want to hedge your bets, bloomspot has an awesome deal here: Click here for half off tix at bloomspot

So enter to win:
Petit Sirah is a cross between the Syrah grape and what little known French variety?

Next: Stags Leap Petit Sirah - a wine review