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  • Writer's pictureMolly Jean

Molly's Meal Match: Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot is a lip staining, Bordeaux varietal traditionally used in blending. It's commonly blended in small amounts with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The grape's high acidity and intense tannin, serve as the backbone to any blend - adding depth, color and delicious flavors of black fruit. Despite being a pillar for famous red wine blends, this grape also shines as a single varietal wine.

The name Petit Verdot translates to "little green one," aptly named after the small green berries the vines produce. Its thick skins make the grapes hearty enough to withstand whipping winds and harsh storms. Though small and hearty, it's not able to withstand excessive heat and needs plenty of water.

These characteristics make the juice high in tannin and acid, accompanied by peppery and floral aromas. The heavy tannin make ageing the wine in amphorae or oak barrels a necessity. Decanting the Petit Verdot for a minimum of 30 minutes, is also a must. This will further soften the wine on the palate, while maintaining the high tannin attributes we love!

Pairing Petit Verdot with the right meal, will make the wine even more mouthwatering. It pairs deliciously well with grilled veggies, fatty meats, roasted meats, pungent cheeses, Cuban style pork, Latin American dishes, and Southwestern Style fare.


Flavors + Aromas

Primary (grape and alcoholic fermentation):

Floral: violet, lilac, lavender

Red Fruit:

Black Fruit: black cherry, black plum, blackberry, blueberry, black raspberry

Green Fruit:

Citrus Fruits:

Stone Fruits:

Tropical Fruits:

Herbaceous: sage, dried herbs

Herbal: sage, fennel, cardamom

Spice: licorice, black pepper

Fruit Ripeness: cooked fruit, dried fruit

Other: pencil shavings, clay, crushed gravel

Secondary (post-fermentation winemaking):

Oak: anise, vanilla, mocha, coffee

Tertiary (maturation/aging):


*Cellar for 5-15 Years


Southwestern Style Balls w/ Cilantro Cream Sauce

(Michael David Inkblot Petit Verdot, 2017)

Petit Verdot is hearty varietal that can withstand bold flavors and heavy seasonings, creating a faultless companion to Southwestern style fare. The fattiness of the cream sauce and guacamole, highlight the inky blackberry flavors, while easing the bite of the leathery tannin. It is important to balance the pepper and the spice of the dish, too much spice and the tannin in the wine will become overwhelming. This pairing is a great option as an appetizer or a full on meal.


1. In a large saucepan, warm 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Once the pan is warmed, place the chicken into the pan. Season the chicken with sauce and chipotle powder.

2. Cook chicken covered for 25-28 minutes on medium high heat, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the cooked chicken from the pan and shred it into small pieces.

3. In the same saucepan, sauté the onions, garlic and pepper for 3-5 minutes. Add in jalapeños, black beans, corn, shredded chicken and cilantro. Warm for 5 minutes. 4. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees (what is instructed on the pizza crust package) slice each of the pizza dough crusts into 12 or so squares (large enough to stuff with filling).

5. Stuff each ball with the chicken mixture and a sprinkle of cheese. Pinch the four corners of the squares together, to make a ball, ensure the ball is fully enclosed. Place pinched together side down, on a well greased pan.

6. Brush the balls with avocado oil.

7. Bake for 15 minutes. Or until the tops are browned and firm.

8. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the ingredients for the cilantro cream sauce.

9. Serve warm dipped in cilantro cream sauce or guacamole.

Southwestern Style Bars

​Cilantro Cream Sauce

Dry Goods:

12 oz can of black beans (drained)

12 oz can of corn (drained)

4 oz can of diced jalapeños

1/2 tbsp of chipotle powder

salt & pepper (to taste)

​Dry Goods:

1/2 tbsp of garlic powder

pinch of salt

Refrigerated Goods:

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

2 Pillsbury pizza crusts

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

​Refrigerated Goods:

1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

Cholula (to taste)


1 red pepper (diced)

1 onion (diced)

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tbsp cilantro (chopped)


1/2 lime juiced

1 tbsp cilantro (chopped)


Black Bean Chorizo Soup

(Helix, 2017)

This pairing will have you licking the bowl clean! The earthy, crushed gravel flavors of the wine are simpatico with the textures and seasonings of the soup. It's thick and topped with avocado, sour cream, chorizo, with a light dusting of lime zest and cotija cheese. This is a great pairing to warm you up on a chilly night.


1. In Dutch oven, warm avocado oil on medium heat. Add in the chopped onion, celery and carrots. Sauté the vegetables until they begin to get soften (3-5 minutes).

2. Add in the minced garlic and stir until fragrant.

3. Add in the tomato paste, stir to cover the vegetables.

4. Add in the beans, vegetable stock, soy sauce and bay leaves. Stirring to combine.

5. Bring to a low simmer, cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and do not let the soup boil.

6. Meanwhile, brown the chorizo in a small sauce pan.

7. Remove the bay leaves and carefully transfer the soup to a blender in small batches (or use a puree hand tool), blend until smooth.

8. Once blended to desired thickness, stir in lime juice, chorizo and salt & pepper to taste. To keep warm on low or transfer to a crockpot.

9. Garnish with sour cream, avocado slices, cotija cheese, lime zest, and cilantro.

10. Serve warm!

​Black Bean

​Chorizo Soup

​Dry Goods:

15 oz can of black beans (drained)

4 cups vegetable stock 1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp avocado oil

salt & pepper (to taste)

tortilla strips (for garnish)

Refrigerated Goods:

6 oz ground chorizo

1 tbsp soy sauce

cotija cheese (for garnish)

sour cream (for garnish)


2 Bay leaves

2 carrots (peeled and chopped)

2 celery sticks (chopped)

1 onion (diced)

1 tbsp cilantro

4 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 lime (juiced, zest)

1 avocado (for garnish)


Steak Gorgonzola Totchos

(Terre di Per Cecco Toscana, 2016)

This rich, creamy dish is just what Petit Verdot ordered. The bold flavors of the Gorgonzola and fattiness from the steak, softens the leathery tannin, while highlighting the aromas of plum and juicy black cherry. All of these delicious flavors dumped over tater tots, is orgasmic!


1. Pre-heat and cook tater tots, per bag instructions.

2. Heat grill or Traeger to high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the steak evenly, 7 minutes on each side - depending on steak thickness.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour.

4. Add in the thinly sliced shallot and wine. Bring to a slight simmer then add in the heavy cream and coconut cream.

5. When it begins to bubble, stir in Gorgonzola cheese. Stir regularly until the cheese is melted.

6. If all goes well, all factors of the meal should be ready at the same time.

7. In a large bowl, top tater tots with cubed steak, cheese sauce and diced red onio.

8. Enjoy until your belly can't any longer!

​Steak Totchos

​Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

​Dry Goods:

salt & pepper (to taste)

Dry Goods:

2 tsp flour

1/4 cup of dry white wine

salt & pepper (to taste)

​Refrigerated Goods:

1 lb filet mignon (tender loin)

32 oz of tater tots

​Refrigerated Goods:

2 tbsp of butter

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of coconut cream

5 oz of Gorgonzola cheese


1/2 red onion diced


shallot (thinly sliced)


Bacon & Balsamic Onion Goat Cheese Pasta

(Bagias, 2018)

This is another rich and tangy pairing, well-suited for Petit Verdot. The creaminess of the cheese is juxtaposed by the savory acidity of the balsamic onions. The deliciousness of this pasta pairing is beyond words. The jammy black fruit flavors and complimented by aromas of fig and vanilla. It's tasty and appropriate for any night of the week.

Directions: Balsamic Onions

1. Thinly slice the red onion.

2. In a medium pan heat 1 tsp avocado oil, then add the red onion and cook stirring occasionally on med-high.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp avocado oil, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Once the onions have started to caramelize, reduce the heat to med-low and add in the balsamic mixture.

5. Stir occasionally for 20-30 minutes. Once the liquid begins to reduce and thicken, it's complete.

Directions: Goat Cheese Pasta

1. Cook bacon to desired crispness. Crispier the better. Let cool, then crumble.

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook pasta according to pack instructions.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan melt the butter on medium-low. Stir in the thyme leaves.

4. Add in the cream cheese and goat cheese, stirring occasionally until combined.

5. Once the cheese is melted and combined, stir in strained noodles and bacon crumbles.

6. Transfer to an oven safe dish and top with the balsamic onion.

7. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes. Just until it slightly crisps.

8. Serve warm.

Goat Cheese Pasta

​Balsamic Onions

Dry Goods:

16 oz bowtie pasta

1/4 cup dry white wine

salt & pepper (to taste)

​Dry Goods:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp avocado oil

salt & pepper (to taste)

​Refrigerated Goods:

8 oz of cream cheese

4 oz of goat cheese

1/2 lb of bacon

2 tbsp butter


1 red onion (thinly sliced)


1 tbsp fresh thyme


I hope you enjoyed learning about Petit Verdot and checking out these pairing suggestions. If you have feedback, comments, or questions please feel free to comment below, post to The Wine Tails Facebook Page, or message me on Instagram.

Thank you Wine Simple, Wine for Normal People, The Wine Bible, and Wine Folly for providing me with amazing research materials. Follow along with The Wine Tails Pinterest page to see what gets me motivated and gives me inspiration for these pairings.

Cheers and happy sipping!

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