ALL ABOUT THE LEGS!
Who doesn’t love legs? And no, we’re not talking about those things you walk around on! Instead, we mean the tinted tear droplets that dance down the side of your glass when you swirl wine. You’ll notice many people like to admire a wine’s legs before they drink it… So what are legs and why do people pay attention to them?
Legs are created through a process known as the Marangoni effect which basically means that liquids with different surface tensions will flow away from each other. When you swirl your glass, the alcohol is more viscous than the rest of the wine so they separate creating tears. If a wine has more legs, it’s usually because it’s a riper, fuller bodied style of wine.
The legs on certain grapes are more intense than others. Our favorite is Petite Sirah, which produces markedly vibrant and eye catching legs. This is because Petite Sirah grapes have very thick skin. Grape skin contains plenty of natural compounds that enrich the finished wine’s color. In fact, Petite Sirah has one of the highest concentrations of resveratrol and anthocyanin, natural antioxidents that are not only responsible for the color, but good for you too!
Most of you already know that Petite Sirah is John Balistreri’s favorite grape. Indeed, I would say that my grandpa makes some of the best examples of naturally made Petite Sirah you will find anywhere in the world! As a grape with lots of concentration and thick skin, it really stands up to our style of winemaking.
The 2018 vintage is absolutely stunning with vibrant hues of purple and magenta in the glass. It’s a classic example of Petite Sirah: Full bodied, powerful, and fruit forward like most—but, this vintage is unique with notes of black pepper, exotic Asian spice and a unique cigar box aroma. Most impressive is the freshness and ample acidity that adds a beautiful citrus-like crispness on the otherwise intense finish.
Petite Sirah is one of those grapes that pays dividends if you can cellar it. However, we love it now too (especially with food). If you have time to decant this wine, it will enliven the fruit character and make it even more pleasant. We recommend trying it with our finish-at-home Short Ribs, but it works well with just about any grilled dish.