Odd Pair: Hamburgers and McManis Petite Sirah

Odd Pair: Hamburgers and McManis Petite Sirah
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt

The other day, some friends were discussing Little Bigs and its wine selection. They were impressed that you could get not only wine, but good wine, at a burger joint. The conversation was inspiring -- what wine would go well with a juicy hamburger?

It would have to be a red wine since we were dealing with red meat. But this is not a nice, rare steak you might find at Pappas Steakhouse. This is a ground meat hamburger with ketchup, mustard and pickles on a soft bun.

The Spec's wine guru's recommendation was the McManis Petite Sirah 2008. We love this wine and actually recommended it for our Super Bowl wines feature.

The McManis Family Vineyards spans more than 2,500 acres in the Northern interior of California. For the Petite Sirah, the winemaker ferments the grapes in stainless steel tanks and then ages it in oak for four months. The result is a smooth, full-bodied, deep-purple wine with black fruit flavors.

Now, Petite Sirah is not the same as Syrah. They are related, but more like father and child. Syrah and Peloursin had a torrid love affair that resulted in a child, Petite Sirah. Okay, not exactly, but Petite Sirah is the offspring of Syrah and Peloursin, according to Dr. Carole Meredith of UC Davis.

Petite Sirah has a devoted following and even an advocacy organization called P.S. I Love You. And, we know why. After tasting the McManis Petite Sirah, we wanted to go back to Spec's and try more. The inky wine was a perfect pair with our hamburger. The fruitiness of the wine nicely highlighted the meatiness of the burger without overpowering it.

You can pick up a bottle of McManis for your next burger joint run for only $9.99 or try something from the wine list at Little Bigs.

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