Last Friday, the 5th annual Dark & Delicious (“D&D”) Food and Wine Tasting was held at the Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda. D&D, a showcase for Petite Sirah, is put on by P.S. I Love You. There were 47 wineries (click here for list) pouring at Dark and Delicious 2011, along with 30 food vendors (click here for list). It’s an event that first came to my attention in 2010, but I’d just missed it, so I’ve been waiting about a year of so for it to come back around. I’m so glad I did. The sell-out event delivered on both the wine, and food fronts.
On the wine front, it was my intent that this would be first event where I would attempt to taste like a pro. That is taste “x” number of wines (and “x” was definitely an unknown for me), and write detailed tasting notes on each wine tasted. Well, as Colin Powell once said “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. Such was my experience “D&D” in terms of memorializing my tastings with tasting notes. My plan? I decided it would be best to prioritize the wineries because there would be no way for me to taste at them all. I did so by cross-referencing the list of D&D wineries to the P.S. winners in 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (“SFCWC”), which was bifurcated into P.S. up to $19.99, and P.S. $20 and above. There were 15 winners from the SFCWC at D&D, and probably 20 or so wines to taste. Plus I figured, I’d throw in a few more since that wasn’t even half of the wineries representing at the event. Alas, the crowd, and my lack of preparation (My hands weren’t free to easily take notes, but I think mostly I underestimated the challenge in tasting so many wines and keeping detailed notes – my hat goes off to the professionals that do this, it’s very challenging – I’m not there yet) conspired against me. I was forced to abandon my plan, take the night off and simply enjoy the bounty of wine, and food. I ended up tasting at 27 of the 47 wineries (liberal use was made of dump buckets). My favorites were as follows (there’s not in order of preference):
Robert Biale – 2008 Thomman Station P.S.(Napa Valley/St. Helena) -$36, and 2008 Royal Punisher P.S.(Napa Valley) – $36
Tercero – 2007 “The Climb” , 50/50 blend of Syrah and P.S. (Central Coast/Santa Barbara)-$28, and 2007 P.S.(Central Coast/Santa Ynez Valley) – $28
Miro Cellars, 2008 P.S. – (Sonoma/Dry Creek Valley) – $23
Harney Lane – 2007 P.S. (Central Valley/Lodi)- $24
Stage Left Cellars – 2007 P.S.(Central Coast/Paso Robles) – $36, and 2008 Ex-Pat a blend of 51% Mourvedre blend/49% P.S. (Central Coast/Paso Robles) – $24
For value(<$20), my favorites were:
Turkovich Family Winery, 2008 “The Boss” P.S.
Michael David – 2008 Petite Petit (Central Valley/Lodi) 85% P.S./15% Petit Verdot – $18.
On the food front, what I really appreciated about this event,(besides the fact I came very hungry, and left very full) was that adjacent to most of the wineries were food vendors with foods that paired beautifully with the various styles of P.S. It was great to see that P.S. pairs well with so many foods other the oft recommended grilled steak, sausages, and chocolate. My favorite food samples that demonstrated the versatility of P.S. as a pairing partner were Spicy Bacon Almond Caramel Corn (an interesting combination of savory, slightly sweet, and slightly spicy was a ), Pork Tartlet (Slow cooked pork with Pecorino cheese and pears), Paella, and Grilled Pork with Chayote, and Plantain with a smoky tomato sauce. The most unusual pairing for me was Berry Tiramisu with a jammy P.S. from Ehrenberg.
Yes, indeed this one goes on my calendar as a recurring event!
Let me know what some of your favorite P.S. is from either D&D, or a recent tasting, by posting a comment.