I had the opportunity to recently try this wine. My wife and I invited my parents over for dinner, and we had two bottles of Petit Sirah to go with our meal. Vinium and Kent Rasmussen 2008. I know, I know. On the surface it would be like Hank Aaron (KR) staring down a fastball that I (Vinium) am tossing to home plate, clocking in at a whopping 55 miles per hour. But, after a few hours of conversation and drinking, we found enough distinctions and pleasure in both bottles.
For the Vinium, we unscrewed the cap and poured while eating a spicy pate. First thing we noticed was the tannins. Heavier than what I expected, but they did not stay long on the palate, focusing mostly on the front palate. We could taste the blackberry overtones right away with the Vinium. Once the tannins relinquinshed, there was a nice finish, mostly berry tones.
Next we uncorked the KR and did a side by side comparison. The KR was more full bodied, had less of an initial blast of tannins, and we agreed it was an overall immediate smooth drinker. However, the Vinium clearly had a lower alcohol percentage than the KR, which for a few, was a strong point for the Vinium. The color of the KR was a bit deeper purple, but the Vinium was not far behind. As the meal progressed, half of us chose the Vinium to go with dinner (peppercorn encrusted steak), and the other half preferred to finish off the KR. In the end, as a group we decided that we liked the Vinium with the light appetizers more than we did the KR. In my opinion, the KR seemed to pair better with dinner, but if I had to serve the Vinium, I would not be reluctant, especially if given some time to burn off the initial tannins.
Overall, we agreed that if we wanted a summer red to sit on the patio and sip while the dogs chase each other around the yard, snacking on appetizers, this would be a great QPR wine. As I am partial to reds, finding a lighter alcohol Petit Sirah on a summer night that will not overwhelm my bank account is a very good thing.
One side note on the glories of WW. I was at my local wine store this past weekend, for the first time in nearly 6 months. I would say 95% of my wine purchases are from online, with 90% of that being from WW. I was surprised when I stumbled across a bottle of KR Late Harvest Viogner. I flipped out my phone and did a web check, and one of the first links was to when WW sold this in 2009 ($13 a bottle, I paid $27!). I felt like I was treated to a trip in the way back machine. Lots of discussion on how exciting it was to have THREE wine offerings in a week, and hold on to your hats, the first WW Woot Off! It was a trip to read the posts, which helped me not only instantly snap up the wine and subsequently make a great poached pear for dessert, but also how WW has progressed over the years. Eleven pages of comments for one offering, great feedback, and a Sunday night hint of what was to come. It’s no wonder why we fell in love with this website. Yes, Amazon may have its fingers on it a bit more, but overall, the underlying passion for great wine is still there! Thanks WD for continuing to stock my cellars!