Grilling and Zinfandel—why does this magical pairing always make our mouths’ water?
“Grilled foods work so well with Zinfandel because Zinfandel is a variety that does not overpower food but rather compliments it. Zinfandel has thin skins and therefore does not have a lot of tannin structure. Instead, Zinfandel expresses beautiful fruit and juicy acidity. Zinfandel can also have a spicy character to it which pairs well with any grilled fares,” says Winemaker, Tres Goetting.
Factors such as vineyard/site location, and the winemaker’s style can also play a roll in the characteristics of the finished wine. A Zinfandel can be light, fruit forward and bright, or dark, rich, and tannic. Because of this the possibilities are endless when it comes to pairing foods with Zinfandel.
When you think of grilling, of course burgers come to mind—the American Classic that has unlimited variations. Just by switching up the cheese, you have a completely different meal and thus can pair different wines. With a simpler cheeseburger recipe, we might suggest sticking with our Black Chicken Zinfandel. However, if you swap the cheddar cheese for goat cheese, we may recommend our RW Moore Vineyard Zinfandel. The darker fruit profile and bright acidity of the RW Moore Vineyard cuts through the sometimes-powerful goat cheese. Bold flavors need bold wines. You can take this same concept and swap the beef patty for a turkey patty. In this case, perhaps pair our lighter, more delicate, yet structured Valsecchi Vineyard Zinfandel.
Every Tuesday our team sits down together for a “family” lunch. We open wine (not always our own) and catch up over a nice meal. Typically, our lunches include the use of a grill, flat top, or supporting local restaurants. Pat Jeffries, Tasting Room Manager, and Dave “Coach Todd, National Sales & Logistics, are our resident chefs and know how to spoil us with a great meal!
Since July is National Grilling Month, we thought it would be fun for Pat and Coach to share their latest grilling favorites. Pat, with his restaurant background knows his way around the grill and has recently been having fun with pork chops. Coach is our BBQ sauce connoisseur. He is the master of making a BBQ sauce that takes the grilled meal to another level! Both are motivated by making the perfect pairing for our Zinfandels. Below are their recipes for folks to cook up at home. Have fun creating your perfect pairing!
We hope you can now see how Zinfandel and grilling are a pairing that cannot be beat! Our passion for preserving Zinfandel goes beyond the finished product. We hope our Zinfandel brings joy, laughter, and great memories shared with your favorite people during these beautiful Summer nights!
Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup cider Vinegar
¼ cup firmly pack Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Onion powder
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
2 tablespoon Tomato paste
1 ½ Dark Molasses
2 teaspoon freshly ground black Pepper
¼ cup Yellow mustard
*A splash of Black Chicken Zinfandel*