Ask someone from Napa what they think of Lodi, and you’ll get a snicker. "Oh, do they make wine up there?"
Which is one reason why I enjoy wine from Lodi so much, and especially wine from Peirano Estate. Regular visitors to this space might know Peirano from The Other, the winery’s red and white blends, which I have written nice things about.
Peirano, and Lodi wines in general, are well-made, offer value, and aren’t pretentious. Case in point is the petite sirah ($15 at Central Market). Petite sirah is related to syrah, but has its own character and flavor. It’s a little deeper and the fruit flavors aren’t quite as jammy. The Peirano has lots of deep, dark rich plummy flavor, but it’s not as overwhelming as a shiraz. You can even drink it on its own, though it’s better with food. Serve this with pizza with tomato sauce and sausage, for example, or messy cheeseburgers with lots grilled onions and mushrooms.
A note about availability: Availability is the bane of my existence as a wine writer. One would think that high-tech inventory systems would make it easy to learn if a store carries a certain brand, but one would be wrong. Inventory remains as much art as science. When I list a store, I know the wine is there because I bought it there or saw it there. If it’s not there when you go, it’s probably sold out. Feel free, in the comments, to add retailers where you have seen or bought the wine.