Petit Verdot vs Petite Sirah

petit verdot vs petite sirah wine comparison infographic

It makes sense to compare Petit Verdot vs Petite Sirah. These are two red wines you’ll come across as you get into wine.

Petit Verdot has a signature floral note. Petite Sirah has pepper and licorice. Both are high alcohol, high tannin, full-bodied, deep red wines.

TL;DR: If you enjoy Petit Verdot, you’re likely to appreciate Petite Sirah as well – or vice versa.

Here’s what you need to know about Petit Verdot vs Petite Sirah.

Petit Verdot Basics: A Tannic Powerhouse

petit verdot vs petite sirah - what does petit verdot wine taste like infographic

Petit Verdot, originating from Bordeaux as well, provides a bold and robust experience. While historically used as a blending grape, Petit Verdot has gained recognition for its individual character.

Its flavor profile encompasses dark fruit, such as blackberry and plum, coupled with hints of spice and a touch of floral aromatics.

Fun Wine Fact: Petit Verdot, translating to “little green,” alludes to the late ripening of its small, thick-skinned berries.

Petite Sirah Basics: A Bold and Robust Choice

petit verdot vs petite sirah - what does petite sirah wine taste like inforgraphic

Petite Sirah, originally from France, is now closely associated with the California wine industry. Petite Sirah showcases a bold character.

Petite Sirah, known for its full body, exhibits flavors of blackberries, plums, and a touch of black pepper and black licorice, creating a rich and complex palate. Check out more about Petite Sirah wines.

Fun Wine Fact: Petite Sirah is sometimes labeled as Durif, named after its French botanist creator, Dr. François Durif.

Today, Petite Sirah has gained recognition beyond its French origins, with vineyards in regions such as California, Washington, and even Argentina.

Wine Comparison: Petit Verdot vs. Petite Sirah

Here’s a quick side-by-side that covers the most common styles of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah wines.

CharacteristicsPetit VerdotPetite Sirah
HueDeep purple to almost blackDark purple to inky black
ColorRedRed
AromasDark fruit, violet, herbalBlackberry, plum, black pepper, licorice
TanninsHighMedium to High
AcidMedium to Medium plusMedium
Alcohol (%)14-15.5%14-16%
BodyFullFull
IntensityMedium Plus to HighPronounced
Key Growing RegionsFrance (Bordeaux), Spain, CaliforniaCalifornia, Australia, France
Classic PairingsGrilled meats, game, aged cheesesBarbecue, game meats, hearty stews
Price Range$20-$50$10-$50

Petit Verdot Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Petit Verdot wines are dry.
  • Alcohol: Petit Verdot wines typically have a higher alcohol content, ranging from around 14% to 15.5% ABV.
  • Body: Petit Verdot is known for its full body and robust structure, similar to Petite Sirah wines.
  • Acid: Petit Verdot has medium plus acid, slightly more than Petite Sirah wine.
  • Tannins: Petit Verdot showcases firm and gripping tannins, adding to its powerful and bold character.
  • Flavors: The flavor profile often includes dark fruit notes like blackberry and plum, accompanied by hints of herbs and purple floral undertones.

Fun Wine Fact: Petit Verdot is often called a “minor grape” in Bordeaux blends, but its impact is anything but minor.

Petite Sirah Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Petite Sirah tends to be on the drier side, offering bold and dry styles.
  • Alcohol: Petite Sirah wines typically have a higher alcohol content, ranging from around 14% to 16% ABV.
  • Body: Petite Sirah is known for its full body, providing a robust and intense drinking experience, similar to Petit Verdot.
  • Tannin: Petite Sirah will have high tannin levels, much like Petit Verdot.
  • Acid: Petite Sirah showcases balanced acidity, contributing to its bold character, in the medium to high range, a little lower than Petit Verdot.
  • Flavor and Aroma Intensity: Petite Sirah boasts a rich and intense dark fruit profile with notes of blackberry, plum, and black pepper and licorice.

Helpful Tip: Pop over to this 30-second tasting tip to learn how to taste wine tannins.

Are Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah Similar?

Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah are similar. They’re both high-tannin, full-bodied, high-alcohol red wines that showcase black fruit, like black cherry, plum, and currant. If you enjoy Petit Verdot, you’re likely to appreciate Petite Sirah as well. Both are used as blending grapes with other red wines.

What Is the Difference Between Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah?

Petite Sirah tends to have a slightly more robust flavor profile, compared to Petit Verdot’s intense dark fruit notes. Petite Sirah often exhibits a touch more peppery spice, while Petit Verdot leans towards violet and spice.

Petit Verdot vs. Petite Sirah: Food Pairings and Serving Temperature

petit verdot vs petite sirah - tacos
I like pairing Petite Sirah with spicier foods – think taco truck cuisine.
  • Petit Verdot’s intense dark fruit and structured character make it an ideal companion for hearty dishes, grilled meats, and aged cheeses. Spicey food can overwhelm the floral notes in Petit Verdot wines.
  • Petite Sirah, with its powerful dark fruit and peppery spice, pairs exceptionally well with bold-flavored meats, barbecue, and rich stews.

Both Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah are best enjoyed slightly below room temperature. Chill them in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Discover More:
Red Wine and Cheese Pairing: What You Need to Know

Which Is More Expensive, Petit Verdot vs. Petite Sirah?

When comparing the prices of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah, it’s natural to wonder about their relative costs.

Petite Sirah Cost

  • Entry-level Petite Sirah wines are typically affordable, ranging from $10-$15 per bottle.
  • Mid-tier Petite Sirah wines are $20-$30. These showcase regional differences and the hand of the winemaker.
  • Premium Petite Sirah wines are $35-$50+

Petit Verdot Cost

  • Entry-level Petit Verdot wines are a little more expensive, around $20 to $30 per bottle. These wines provide a robust and flavorful experience at a reasonable cost.
  • On the premium side, Petit Verdot from boutique producers commands prices ranging from $35 to $50 or higher. The investment often reflects the craftsmanship and intensity that these wines bring to the table.

Wine Note: Petit Verdot isn’t widely planted but is in demand as a blending grape for it’s more popular Bordeaux partner: Cabernet Sauvignon. This supply and demand drives up prices for Petit Verdot wines.

Which Is Better Petit Verdot or Petite Sirah?

If you enjoy full-bodied, tannic red wine, with subtle floral notes, Petit Verdot will be better for you. If you prefer robust wines with a slightly bolder flavor profile, Petite Sirah is the better choice.

Personal Note: I actually make Petit Verdot and use it as a blending grape and to make single varietal wines. I love the middle-mouth feel and purple floral undertones. Petite Sirah isn’t my favorite wine. It’s bolder with a more robust character. I think it makes a great blending grape.

Final Thoughts – Petit Verdot or Petite Sirah?

Both Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah are fun red wines to compare because they have so much in common.

I’m a big fan of side-by-side tastings to tease out the different wine characteristics. A great way to get started with these two wines is to do a side-by-side comparison.

Grab 2 bottles of similarly priced Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. Invite over a few friends and enjoy together exploring these two classic reds.

Thirsty for More?

I’m a big believer in doing side-by-side tastings to boost your wine knowledge. Here’s how to host your own wine tasting for beginners.

Check out this post on Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot, another popular red wine, along with Cabernet Sauvignon vs Malbec, and Shiraz vs Merlot.

The best way to learn about wines is through side-by-side comparisons with wine flights. I highly suggest DIY wine flights. Check out this post I put together to get you started with wine flights.

Aaaand… Here’s a post that I put together with wine tasting essentials. Things that I use every day in my wine life. Check it out!

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