5 Zinfandels to Try & ZINsational Wine Pairings
Well over 8,000 wine enthusiasts flocked to San Francisco for the largest single varietal tasting in the world. Red wine lovers got their hands on some must try Zinfandels and ZINsational food and wine pairings. Now in its 22nd year, the annual ZAP Zinfandel Festival is designed to entertain, educate and delight Zinfandel enthusiasts. The question often comes to mind, why do red wine lovers jump at the chance to fill their wine glasses with this deep purple pleasure? Well, Zinfandel is thought to be California’s original grape and said to have first came to the Golden State along with the Gold Rush in 1850’s. Zinfandel is planted in 10 percent of California vineyards. So with that in mind, ZAP gives us wine enthusiasts just one more reason to raise our wine glasses to this robust red!
Bob Biale Proprietor of Robert Biale Vineyards/President, Board of Directors ZAP
“It was one of the liveliest learning experiences around. We added new touches for all of the events; for example, for the Tasting, those included an area where you could taste Zinfandels by their terroir and a seated tasting lounge for Heritage Club members.”
Five Zinfandels You Must Try
If you want to learn about wine Ian Blackburn would love for you to learn about Beekeeper Cellars. Wine lovers are all a buzz about his 2010 Rockpile, Sonoma County Zinfandel. Beekeeper Cellars was created as part of Blackburn’s life study of fine wine, and his study as a Student in the Master of Wine program and as a collaboration with Clay Mauritson.
Blackburn hopes Beekeeper will help people rethink what they already think about Zinfandel. With a commitment to making amazing wine from top vineyard sites. Beekeeper was designed to drink well on release, and should hit its potential around 2015 and to age nicely in a proper wine cellar for up to a decade. 109 cases will be sold direct through the website and featured in top restaurants. $64
The folks that brought you the Prisoner, now bring you Saldo. Napa Valley’s Orin Swift Cellars gained much success from their label The Prisoner, and winemaker/owner Dave Phinney, has gained access to some of the best Zinfandel vineyards in Northern California. Phinney decided he wanted to make a high-quality Zinfandel that was not defined by constraints of a single appellation.
Saldo pulls the best lots of grapes from California’s most renowned Zinfandel regions, including historic vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Amador, Mendocino, and Contra Costa counties. The word “saldo” has many different meanings in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. In Spanish, it mainly refers to “balance on hand,'” and sometimes it can mean “from here and there.” $28
Anyone who says Zinfandel can’t age obviously hasn’t had the pleasure of partaking in this 1986 Pedroncelli Zinfandel. It’s not surprising that this family can make an age worthy Zin given their rich roots in the region. Since 1927, when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased vineyard and a small winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, two elements remain unchanged: it’s still and it is still a family owned business and they still make ZINsational wine. To check out my video with the Pedroncelli Family CLICK HERE!
Deep Purple Wines
Those middle sisters are at it again! From the sisterhood that brought you that rascally Rebel Red and the Sweet and Sassy Moscato are now casting a purple haze over wine lovers with their Deep Purple Zinfandel.
The label might make you do a double take, but what’s inside the bottle will make you do a double sip or gulp. The Deep Purple label for this wine was created by Bob Johnson who is a famed wine industry illustrator, cartoonist, and graphic artist. It is a tribute to a time when a group of ruggedly independent wine pioneers decided to get in touch with their inner purple. The pioneers loved the label so much they also had Bob turn it into a poster-reminiscent of the fillmore posters of the 1960’s. Purple Zinfandel 2011 Lodi. $12
Turley Wine Cellars
Turley Wine Cellars was established in 1993 by Larry Turley. The Napa Valley winery specializes in single vineyard old vine Zinfandel & Petite Syrah from some of the most historic vineyards in California. At ZAP they featured the 2011 Juvenile, California $20 and a barrel sample from the 2011 Hayne Vineyards, Napa Valley. $75
ZINsational Food and Wine Pairings
Dry Creek Valley 2010 Somers Ranch Zinfandel paired with Pasta Queen’s porcini and truffle in a hazelnut porcini alfredo sauce, topped with blue cheese crumble.
Hendry 210 Blocks 7 & 22 Napa Valley 2010 Mike and Molly, Napa Valley paired with Kinyon! Culinary Services Wild mushroom soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Grgich Hills Estate 2009 Napa Valley paired with 3D Candies, Raspberry hazelnut caramel, lavender black cherry vanilla caramel.
Tres Sabores 2010 Rutherford Estate, Napa paired with Local: Mission Eatery, Confit guinea hen, red onion jam and pepper cress.
Ledson Winery &Vineyards 2009 Old Vine, Dry Creek Valley 2009 Century Vine, Russian River paired with Centre du Vin at the Ledson Hotel’s Pork belly Bahn Mi sandwich-slow cooked pork belly, Asian slaw with bean sprouts, cabbage and fresh cilantro on a French baguette.
Harney Lane Winery 2010 Lizzy James Vineyard Old Vine, Lodi Savory Events Dhokla with butternut squash and smoked tomato chutney.
For Zinfandel Food and Wine Pairing Recipes CLICK HERE!