Big Food. Big Wine. BBQ & Zin. #WineWednesday

Try Some Delicious BBQ and Zinfandel Pairings in August

But first, a little about Zin…

Zinfandel has had quite a journey. Thankfully, winemakers decided to bottle Zinfandel all by itself in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Did you know it was primarily a blending grape beforehand? The first mainstream instance of Zinfandel was spearheaded by Sutter Home Winery back in the 1970’s. The wine was pink in color, it was sweet, people went bonkers over it, and it was called White Zinfandel. At the time, and to this day, people buy White Zinfandel in droves. However, despite having huge sales to this day, White Zinfandel carries a reputation of being a starter wine, and many view it as cheap and non-worthy. After the pink version of Zinfandel had its time in the spotlight, red Zinfandel entered the scene with an entirely different personality.

Red Zinfandels (also referred to as “Zin”) typically display flavors of dark cherry, boysenberry, blackberry, and raspberry. Zins can present a berry jam taste as well, and you may hear people refer to them as being “jammy.” In addition to lush fruit flavors, Zinfandel is usually spiked with spice, select herbs, and pepper. The level of taste varies and you can gauge this a little bit by the alcohol content. Unlike its older sister wine, connoisseurs respect Zinfandel and it routinely receives accolades from industry professionals.

Quick Tip: Look at the alcohol content on the label to help guide you

  • Lower alcohol (13% - 15%) = More acid and fruit-forward. Typically food friendly.
  • Higher alcohol (16%-18%) = Raging sippers. You may hear someone refer to it as “hot”.

Good history, good wine, and some Zinfandel vineyards in California are 130+ years old! Pretty cool. A lot of excellent Zinfandels are produced in California… specifically in the Central Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley.

In addition, Zinfandel is considered to be one of the best wines to pair with food at a BBQ. Here are some tasty food and wine pairings to try with Zinfandel:

  • Grilled NY Strip Steak
  • A Classic Burger (with ketchup or some bacon)
  • BBQ Grilled Chicken
  • BBQ Pork Ribs
  • Romano, Kasseri, or Gorgonzola Cheese

Spice up your next cookout - Grab a California Zin and fire up the grill!

Hello Vino

This post is part of Wine Blogging Wednesday #60 - @Sonadora of www.WannabeWino.com came up with the “Zin & BBQ” theme for this week.

2005 C5 Dry Creek Zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma

2006 Pendleton Russian River Zinfandel
Russian River Valley, Sonoma

2007 Soquel Old Vine Zinfandel
Central Valley (Lodi), California

2006 ratZINger Zinfandel
Central Valley (Lodi), California