Friday is Earth Day, a good time for wine drinkers to reflect that without that magical combination of soil, climate, topography and associated plant cover we sometimes sum up as terroir we'd be denied the pleasures afforded by grapes artfully fermented. It might also be a good day to lift a glass of the 2009 Green Truck Mendocino County Petite Sirah, a wine made from grapes organically farmed in order to keep pesticides and other chemicals out of the natural loop.
This deliciously juicy and pleasantly brambly petite sirah should fetch about $14 at wine shops and big-box stores, making it an affordable accompaniment to Earth Day faves like grilled portobello mushroom "burgers," eggplant gratin or veggie burritos stuffed with beans, rice, tomato, avocado and queso blanco.
Although this wine will benefit from being opened a half-hour or so before serving, the cork pull unleashes such a big bouquet of dark berry aromas that waiting for that first sip will be tough. When you finally give in, get ready for a full-bore rush of blackberry, black cherry and a little cranberry, spiced with bramble and black pepper. It's a potent opening that at midpalate permits a trace of black coffee to agreeably complicate the flavor profile. Ripe berry flavors persist through the clean and medium long finish, adding up to a wine perfect for celebratory quaffing.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.