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Pairing Petit Verdot with Food - A work in progress

Whitehall Vineyards Petit Verdot and Food PairingPetit Verdot is traditionally used in blended wines, like the famous Bordeaux.  It gives the wine a dark ruby tinge, along with a spicy floral aroma.  As a single varietal wine, Petit Verdot is best described as massive and brooding.

If you are a fan of fruity wines, you won’t like Petit Verdot.  With this wine you get lots of aromas of Cigar Box, Pencil Shavings, Cellar Floor, Leather and Smoke.  Some people detect a bit of fruit (the more the wine is aged in oak, the more the fruit flavours fade), but more often than not, banana and mint come through.  The flavours mirror this aroma, while contributing pepper and spice to the palate.

This is a wine that demands hearty meat dishes or aged cheeses.  Barbecued Lamb Chops, Roasted Duck, or Pork Spare Ribs will all pair well.  This wine is highly tannic, and thus needs a lot of fat and protein when it is young.  Any red meat barbecued is a great choice with Petit Verdot as you get the bitterness of the charred meat complementing the bitter earth flavours found in the wine.

Not much has been written about Petit Verdot and food pairings.  Furthermore, winemakers are only beginning to produce single varietal Petit Verdot wines, and they recommend that the wine ages for several of years before enjoying it.  As such, consider this blog post a work in progress as we experiment with the food and Petit Verdot wine pairings at the What to Pair labs.


Written by: Joel Baxter