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At the 2018 Petite Masters Panel - Going to a World Wrestling match, ending up at a Bolshoi Ballet

California grown Petite Sirah (a.k.a. Durif) has never been counted among the world’s “great” red wines; despite an evidently fanatical fan base, driving steadily growing production (there are now over 1,000 brands of California Petite Sirah, which is well over 10 times more than there were just 15 years ago).
Yet this also-ran image might change. I caught at least a glimmer of that at an event called Petite Masters Panel and Walk Around Tasting, put on by P.S. I Love You – that indefatigable “Petite Sirah Advocacy Organization” – at Culinary Institute of America’s Copia Classroom this past March 18, 2018.
But I don’t think even the Petite Sirah fanatics who attended this sold-out event expected this to happen. When you put together a winemaker panel/tasting called “Masters,” you expect a presentation by a group of skilled practitioners of said varietal. As has become the custom of modern-day California wine culture, it’s all about winemakers, and what they can do with a grape.
By the s…

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Randy Caparoso:
"I fought against the bottle," as Leonard Cohen wrote, "but I had to do it drunk"... specializing in wine as a restaurateur, retailer, wine judge, journalist, frequent flyer and mental traveler. But to me, wine is a food like a rose is a rose. So why all the fuss? Currently: Editor-at-Large/Bottom Line Columnist, The SOMM Journal; Contributing Editor, The Tasting Panel. Awards: Sante's Wine & Food Professional of the Year (1998); Restaurant Wine's Wine Marketer of the Year (1992 & 1999); Academy of Wine Communications (commendation) for Excellence in Wine Writing and Encouragement of Higher Industry Standards; Electoral College Member, Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone.