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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Meaty Matches: Petite Sirah from Monterey with Merguez Sausage and Saucy Ribs #WinePW

This month Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm has the Wine Pairing Weekend bloggers exploring Petit Sirah. At the end of our last chat about BIPOC winemakers, we discussed if Petit Sirah was the same or related to Syrah. Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog quipped that whenever he sees the latter, he always thinks that someone needs a spell-checker. So, do you know? Sirah, Syrah, Shiraz?!?

This month the group will be meeting on Zoom to chat about Petit Sirah. Saturday, March 11th at 8am Pacific. You can register at this link. These articles will all be live between Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th...

2021 Aristotle Petite Sirah

So, I poured a couple different Petite Sirahs. But I wanted to focus on one from my neck of the woods in Monterey County. First, let's look at the grape...

Petite Sirah (with an 'i') is also Petite Syrah (with a 'y) or Durif. It is rarely cultivated these days, but is growing primarily in California. And it is not a smaller version of Syrah or Shiraz; it's its own variety. Petite Sirah's parent grapes are Syrah and Peloursin.

Syrah hails from France's Rhône and is a hybrid of Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. Shiraz is the same grape, but usually produced within the Australian wine industry.

The Aristotle Petite Sirah is a single varietal - 100% Petite Sirah - made with grapes from the Hames Valley Vineyard in southern Monterey County. The vineyard is certified sustainable and it carries the California Certified Sustainable seal on the label. It was aged for 10 months on a mixture of American, French, and Hungarian oak.

On the nose there are aromas of ripe black fruit - think blackberries, black plum and black cherries - that erupt into warm vanilla and tobacco notes. On the palate, this is a full-bodied wine with elegant tannins and a long finish that comes full circle with those black fruit flavors..

I knew that this would pair well with meat.

Meaty Matches

The first night, I cooked some Merguez from a local-to-me favorite. If you are unfamiliar, Merguez is a lamb sausage from North African. With its warm, earthy spices of cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, and harissa, these were a great match with the wine.

The second night I made...

Oven-Roasted Ribs


  • 1 rack of pork baby back ribs

  • 1 cup organic dark brown sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • Also needed: foil, baking sheet, barbecue sauce


The night before, or first thing in the morning, prepare the rub. Combine brown sugar, both paprikas, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until well blended. Coat the ribs. With your hands, pat the rub onto both sides of the ribs, going heavier on the meaty side. Refrigerate for as many hours as you can; I ended up leaving them for 8 hours.

Right before you want to cook them, preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven heats, take the ribs out of the refrigerator to warm up.

To roast, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and place them - meat side up - on a sheet pan and put them in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 3 hours.

Reduce the heat to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for another 2 to 3 hours. The longer you cook them, the more tender they will be.

Gently unwrap the ribs and paint them with a thin coat of barbecue sauce. Return them to the oven - raise the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit - for 10 minutes or so. The sauce will begin to char.

Remove the ribs from the oven, place them on a cutting board, and chop them into individual servings (the meat should almost be falling off the bone at this point, so this will be easy). Serve with more barbecue sauce and loads of napkins because eating ribs is a messy endeavor. Enjoy!

I am late to the party. But this is my offering for the month. With Earth Day next month, we will be looking a sustainable wine. Stay tuned.

14 views2 comments


Martin Redmond
Martin Redmond
Mar 12, 2023

We had some Merguez sausage last night! I had been years! I wish I'd some some PS to pair with it. And your ribs looks so yummy!


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Mar 12, 2023

So glad you were able to join us. Your post was worth the wait.

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