Normally I start this column by talking about the setting and how I ended up sampling the wine. However, when I grabbed this bottle of wine there was nothing exciting going on. It was a plain old Saturday night (which is steak night around the Colmans) and I must confess that I was expecting very little when I grabbed the $10 bottle of 2006 Ravenswood Petite Sirah Sonoma County.
Was I ever wrong! First and foremost, I figured that a Petite Sirah would be a light and fruity wine that would be overpowered by a hefty steak. It turns out that the petite in Petite Sirah simply refers to the size of the grapes when they are picked. The wine itself is a big, full bodied wine.
The nose of the wine is flavorful and complex. You can pick up lots of peppers and oak, which complement the spices on a steak perfectly. The color comes out as a nice dark ruby, almost purple, and you can see how heavy the wine will be just by swirling it in the glass.
Ultimately what matters is the taste. I would never have guessed this was a $10 bottle of wine. It has a nice sweet start followed by a chewy feel to it - and ended off with a consistent and long finish. I would consider this a surprisingly complex wine with an almost perfect balance to it. Ravenswood should be very proud of this wine and could charge a lot more if they wanted.
My ultimate recommendation, if you can't guess by now, is to buy a bunch of this wine. At $10/bottle it is a must-have for everyday consumption. Very rarely do I find a wine that I am willing to serve as the first and last bottle of wine in a night. Normally, I start with the good stuff and, as people's taste buds dull with each glass of wine, I move to cheaper and cheaper wine. At this price point, I would continue serving this all night, every night. Can you ask for a better everyday wine than that? Cheers!
Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy lives in Danville and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.