Glen Ellen 2007 Petite Sirah

Show a little faith there’s magic in the night
You ain’t a beauty but hey you’re alright
Oh and that’s alright with me
– Bruce Springsteen, Thunder Road

I did not expect to write this review. Glen Ellen? Don’t they make bum wine? I can’t even imagine what they will do to one of my favorite grapes. See? This is why I am not a wine expert, and usually attempt to shrug it off when accused of that particular vice.

The color is purple, but not the usual inky impenetrable, almost black color that Petite Sirah usually has. In fact, the nose is lighter, and so is the taste. That said, it works as a Petite Sirah. Not a great one, maybe not even an especially good one. But it is pretty damn drinkable.

The day these samples arrived they were joined by other, more prestigious wines. When we opened the box and I saw what it contained, I have to admit that my inner snob kicked in and started whining in my head, “Don’t these people read this blog before they ask for reviews?” Which then makes my outer snob answer, “Of course they do, and our policy makes it safe for them to send anything and not worry about a bad review.” As I sit here drinking another glass of this wine, I feel quite ashamed of both of those snobs.

My inner snob calls it "quaffable," but ignore him... he tends to be a dick.
For those of you who don’t know our policy, it is to only write about wine that we would personally recommend to a friend. It is hard enough for me to believe that anyone really cares what I like, so it is outside the realm of possibility for me to believe that there is a single soul on the planet who cares what I don’t like. Not to mention, there are so many reasons that a bottle might taste bad other than it being a bad wine. Maybe we didn’t wait long enough and it had bottle shock. Maybe it is in a dead period. Maybe I took a drink just as that asshole Ryan Seacrest inexplicably appeared on my TV. Who knows? The point is, we usually only write positive reviews.

Okay, so why am I writing about wine that I already said wasn’t great? Wine that costs about 10 bucks for a liter and a half bottle? Because it comes in a liter and a half bottle and costs about 10 bucks! Oh yeah, and it most definitely does not suck.

How does that fit in with our review policy? Easy! This wine is very easy to drink. My inner snob calls it “quaffable,” but ignore him… he tends to be a dick.

Here comes the recommendation part. Let’s say you are going to a BYOB party, and you know your cheap-ass friends will be pouring full glasses to swill down whatever you bring. How do you balance wanting to drink something that tastes good but not have to guard the bottle like some cheese-eating high school kid protecting his lukewarm Natty Lites?

Bring a bottle or two of Glen Ellen Petite Sirah. You will have plenty for yourself, but at this price you won’t care one bit if every wine leach at the party drinks it like kool-aid. Of course you will have to endure the withering looks of any lurking wine snobs as they spend their entire evening guarding their expensive bottle that they brought just to impress all of the folks who now want a taste. When that happens just parry their withering look with a knowing sneer. You drank something that tasted good, shared magnanimously with everyone, had a great time, and your impressively expensive and delicious California Cab is waiting safely for you back at home.

I would have no qualms about serving this stuff at a reception or party with an open bar, or opening a bottle or two with pizza, snacks and sports. Having a big Super Bowl or playoff party? Set a few of these big bottles of juice around and let the wild rumpus begin!

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