Ravenswood Vintners Blend Petite Sirah, 2006, California
Cost: $9-11
WHAT: This is a great everyday wine that is so good you might find yourself drinking it with special dinners. It’s a fine example of the often overlooked petite sirah grape, often used as a blending grape. The deep purple color leads to violet and plum aromas. A round, mellow taste is filled with blackberry and plum with a bit of cherry and spice. It’s a fruit-forward, young, exuberant wine that has a long, smooth finish. Good acidity lets it hold up to heavy food. It’s the kind of wine you could spend hours with in front of a roaring fire, solving the problems of the world. This is the winery’s first national release of a petite sirah. The wine is 92% petite sirah and 8% syrah.
THE WINERY: For more than 30 years Ravenswood has been living up to its motto: “No wimpy wines.” Though it is best known for its spectacular zinfandels, this Sonoma County winery uses many different varietals in three excellent series of wines at different price points. The Vintners Blend series springs from winemaker Joel Peterson’s belief that the world needs not only great wine, but good, affordable wine for your kitchen table. The tasting room is worth a trip by itself.
GOES WITH: Steak, ribs, grilled meat and hearty cheeses. We had it with chicken cacciatore, and it was perfect, neither overwhelming the chicken nor being crushed by the garlic and herbs.

Reach Dennis Sodomka at dsodomka@knology.net. Read his column on gifts for wine lovers in the November/December issue of Augusta Magazine.

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