Jeff’s Corner

Wow, it’s only been a month since we talked about the 2013 Petite Sirah and here we are taking a look at the super brand new 2014 Petite. Production of the ’13 was small, and being a great wine we sold through it really fast. The ’14 Petite is the first of the new vintage reds to be released, and it promises to be outstanding.

It’s hard to compare the two since the’13 had almost a year in the bottle on release, while the ’14 is very youthful and still a little tight from bottling. It will, however, evolve into a wine of great power and finesse, rivaling all of Jason’s previous Petites.

The blend is 76% Petite Sirah and 24% Syrah. Its color is intensely dark and beautiful, with well extracted hues of violet and purple. The aromas are incredibly complex for a young wine, with layers of vanilla, cedar, and black fruit mingling with floral nuances of violets and lilies.

Black cherry and black raspberry dominate the palate, flirting with undercurrents of licorice, clove, and cinnamon. Youthful acids and rich tannins combine with the fruit for a well-balanced, elegant finish.

When we talked about the ’13 Petite last January, I paired it with a rich wine and stock infused beef stew. So, here comes a recipe from my early years that I originally posted in Jeff’s Corner close to five years ago.

Growing up, we all had our favorite Mom meals. We looked forward to them when we were young, and revered them as we got older. This is what comfort food is all about; it takes us back to times of love, security, and a more gentle era. Mom called this “Booze Stew”, and whenever I make it, I always get out the faded recipe card in her handwriting, even though I don’t really need it…


3 lb. lean stew meat
2 cans Campbell’s Consommé
2 cans Campbell’s Beef Broth
3 lb. red potatoes
2 lb. onions
2 lb. carrots
16 oz. bag frozen green peas, thawed
10 oz. fresh mushrooms
1/2 bottle inexpensive red wine (save the Petite for your glass)
cornstarch for thickening

Cut the potatoes, carrots, and onions into stew sized pieces. In a BIG pot, brown the meat in 2-3 oz. olive oil (do not drain), add the consommé and beef broth, and bring to a light boil. Add the wine, return to a boil, and add the veggies (except for the peas).

Simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours, until the meat is tender. Add cornstarch, mixed with warm water, and stir into the stew for desired texture—it will thicken as it cools, so go easy. Add the peas 10 minutes before serving. This makes a LOT, so have some friends over!