It's Dark, it's delicious, it's divine!

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As I write this letter, Send my love to you, Remember that I’ll always, Be in love with you… In the words of the immortal McCartney and Lennon, yes- Petite Sirah – I DO love you! The 7th Annual celebration of Petite Sirah, Dark & Delicious, will be held at Rockwall Winery in Alameda on February 22nd.  At this annual festival off all things Petite and food, over 30 restaurants will pair their dishes with Petite Sirah producers from all over California.  Some of them will be pouring some spectacular older vintages, and this is a not to be missed event! As you might know by now, any wine blogger worth their salt is a poarkatarian.  Fortunately, the the National Pork Board is a major sponsor of D&D, which means…that’s right kids, lots and lots of bacon and other porky goodness! Here are just some of the wineries that will be pouring their Petite Sirahs – in no particular order.  Ok fine they are in order, of my faves!   Wineries Wineries Aver Family Vineyards Berryessa Gap Vineyards Carica Wines Cedar Creek Ranch & Vineyards Clayhouse Wines Concannon Vineyard Crooked Vine & Stony Ridge Winery David Fulton Delectus Winery Diamond Ridge Vineyards Don Sebastiani & Sons Estrella Creek Wines F. Teldeschi Fenestra Winery Field Stone Winery Foppiano Vineyard Grizzly Republic Gustafson Family Vineyard Mounts Family Winery Ridge Vineyards Robert Biale Winery Rock Wall Wine Company And because you can’t live on inky Petite alone…some of my top picks for food pairings: Foodies Eat Le Truc Healdsburg Toffee Company Il Posto Trattoria Lungomare Mama Tina’s Raviol Sweet Things Bakery Venga Paella Tickets are $63.00 per person and worth it – if you like to eat.  However, I have been authorized to let my favorite winos in!  Please see below for your chance to win a VIP experience!  (More on that later…but it includes 2 tickets to the event and a special surprise before!)

Concannon Vineyards – history in a glass

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The terroir at Concannon Vineyards in Livermore Valley hides a rich history.  When the winery was built in 1883, it was one of the first in California and the first in the area.  Now, four generations later, John Concannon’s namesake great grandson leads the way in Petite Sirah, sustainability, and modern winery operations. Concannon is notable both for it’s place in history but also because it is a winery founded by Irish immigrants.  Founder James Concannon was born in the Aran Islands, left Ireland for America in 1874.  Travelling across the country to reach San Francisco, James was drawn to the idea of creating Rhone and Bordeaux style wines in California.  At the time, Livermore was nearly undiscovered, and James became a wine pioneer. Second generation Captain Joe Concannon helped to lead Concannon Vineywards successfully through Prohibition, producing sacramental wines for the Archbishop of San Francisco.  After serving in World War I, where he created wines for then General Pershing and Lieutenant Patton (later General Patton), he hired the first professional female winemaker.  Captain Joe was also instrumental in replacing vines that were lost to phylloxera. Third generation James (Jim) took over winemaking at the vineyard and brought the first named Petite Sirah to the American market n 1961.  Selling the winery when finances were tight, Jim remained as winemaker and continued to represent the family and winery to the public.  He is still active ein the winery business and in Livermore culture. Jump forward to the 4th generation, John Concannon left his career in the medical device filed to region the family business.  Born and raised on the winery property, John III has worked at every job in the winery, and currently seves as the 4th generation vintner.  Ever the rebel, this join is constantly looking and new and innoative ways to incorporate technology in the vineyard and production. Additionally, the current John has spearheaded Concannon’s sustainable practices in environmental conservancy.  Most of the property is owned by a land conservancy and can never be developed.  With a huge price tag attached to any said sale, this is a major investment in keeping the LIvermore Valley’s agricultural history in tact.  This Conservancy lends it’s name to a series of wines made from the grapes grown in the land trust. We sat down with John to taste some of the winerys wines, as well as explore the Underdog Wine Bar, which is situated on site and offers up delicious morsels as well as several other wines for sipping. Concannon has something to offer everyone and offers you a great look at history in the Livermore Valley, someplace with a long legacy in wine but that is still slightly off the beaten path. Wines tasted: 2010 Conservancy Chardonnay $14 – A bigger chard than I care fore, this wine had lots of buttered popcorn and a slight sandlewood finish. 2010 Reserve Chardonnay $30 – This wine went through additional malolactic fermentation and is quite tropical, green apple, citrus and minerality.  It has great acid and kiwi notes […]

D&D ain’t just for freaks and geeks anymore!

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          D&D.  Those two letters evoke so many memories for those of us who grew up in the time of TRON, Atari, and The Dukes of Hazzard.  You remember D&D, right?  Yes, that that obnoxious role playing game with pewter dragons and triangular playing boards in the 70s and 80s?  Yes, I mean Dungeons & Dragons, the full time obsession of most of my male contemporaries for the better part of 10 years. FORTUNATELY, I am NOT actually referring to the Freaks & Geeks Game of Champions in this post.  THe D&D I speak of is the penultimate event for Petite Sirah lovers, hosted by P.S. I Love YOu, the trade organization dedicated to furthering the adventures of Petite Sirah producers and lovers. Dark & Delicious is the  quintessential Petite Sirah food & wine event which is held once a year.  This year, it will be on February 19th at Rock Wall Wine Company on the old Alameda Naval Base. If you know anything about Petite Sirah, you know it is a dark and brooding beast that will leave your teeth purple and your tongues numb.  But y7ou will love it.   Petite Sirah is the colloquial name for Durif, which is the result of a Peloursin grape being pollinated by Syrah.  It was often referred to as Petite Sirah, because people mistakenly thought the grapes were small Syrah grapes, and thus a legend was born.  The newly created offspring was named for François Durif, a botanist at the University of Montpellier, France.  Because of it’s high resistance to downy mildew, it was widely cultivated in the early 20th century; however, the mass produced wine wasn’t exactly complex, and so there poor Petite Sirah was relegated to being a filler wine for low brow jugs everywhere.  Even today, it is almost purely a new world wine, but baby you’ve come a long way! So far, there will be 41 producers pouring at this event, which will also have some great food pairings.  I am really looking forward to this event, because i will get to taste some old favorites like Twisted Oak and Mounts Family Winery, but also because I will have the change to taste 40 OTHER Petite Sirahs!  Tickets are $60 per person in advance or $70 per person at the door.  Yes, I know that it’s a lot of money, but where else can you taste this much PET with this fabulous food? Google

P.S., I love you!

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What a busy wine week this is!  It’s a rough life but someone has to live it.  This Friday, the Petite Sirah lovers organization, P.S. I Love You, presents Dark & Delicious. Dark & Delicious is a great opportunity for Petite Sirah lovers to taste over 30 wineries offerings, from many different wine regions.  To compliment this dark and brooding wine, some twenty plus restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors will be on hand to offer tasty tidbids to pair with the luscious exlixer. Tickets are $50 if ordered in advance (hurry hurry!) and $60 at the door if they are not sold out.  I have to give a shout out to my fellow blogger and friend Sonadora of Wannabe Wino, since she graciously gave away her press tickets to me, since she cannot attend.  I look forward to discovering some bacon worthy goodness to feed my much delayed bacon friday posts! Dark & Delicious is at Kent Rosenblum’s new baby, Rockwall Wine Company, in the former Navy Base at Alameda.  I’ll see you Friday, Feb 20th at 6pm to taste Dark & Delicious! **Special Note: Due to the developing bushfire emergency in Australia, if you are in San Francisco, please consider going to the Vicoria Bushfire Benefit tasting at Crushpad as an alternative to Dark & Delicious if you are not a Petite Sirah fan. Google