12 August, 2009

WBW#60 - I have Zinned or This little BrixPig went to market...

The Meat market! When Xandria walked in staggering under the weight of brisket, chicken, pork ribs and all the fixin's as well as a six pack of Lodi Zins we had received as samples, I knew we were in for a super fun Wine Blogging Wednesday. Thanks, Megan for the perfect summer combination: BBQ and Zinfandel. And then speaking of the Meat Market, our conversation took an anthropomorphic turn while we were discussing the , " I have Zinned..." theme. So I thought why just pair the wine with BBQ, when we could also riff on the whole "If this wine were a guy it would be..." Pinot Noir might be the one we lust for in our hearts, but Zinfandel, reliable, robust and just sweet enough. is a ringer for "boyfriend material". So in addition to being a tasty treat to pair with robustly sauced, smoky meats, here are my tasting notes paired with someone to put the "date" in Date Night!

'06 Harney Lane, Old Vine Zinfandel, Lizzie James Vineyard - Lodi, CA: We were tasting through 6 bottles of Lodi Zin and every previous offering was all American oak. Though this wine was shy to open, once it had about 15 minutes in the glass, open it did. The 20 months in French Oak gave it a decidedly Continental flair, compared with the others. Its mouthfeel was smooth with subtle tannins. The grapes come from old vines planted in 1904 with thick "trunks" and vigorous growth. Good genes, careful tending and the furnace blast daytime heat gave us juicy flavors and a finish shot with tobacco notes. Star quality? European? No stranger to the cigar box? Classic? Shy with star quality? Charlie Chaplin! At approximately $27.99, an easy to cast, amusing partner for your food pairing delight.

'07 m2 Wines, Old Vine Zinfandel, Soucie Vineyard, 1916 Block, Lodi Yum! This wine blasted out of the bottle with all that is classically yummy about Lodi Zins. Dark and jammy, it was delicious on its own, but had enough tannic strength to be very tasty with the BBQ. The tasting notes detailed the labor that went into the wine. The old vines require special vigilance to get the best flavors, including careful pruning and picking two or three times a vintage to select only the best grapes at the right time. Then they are processed carefully into small bins and inoculated with three strains of yeast. All this (with credit going to the Delta Breeze that cools the night air 30 - 40 degrees) produces a lovely, fruit forward wine. Dark and opaque, with aromas of blackberries, black cherries, cassis and cedar shavings. Lushly fruity flavors with hints of mocha. Classically tall, dark and handsome and very, very fruity? We tagged this: Rupert Everett. At $22, a great addition to any dinner party.

'07 Newsome-Harlow, Zinfandel, Big John's Vineyard, Calveras County, CA With "Sex and the City - The Movie" available on HBO, any mention of Big and John is naturally going to turn the mind (well, my mind) toward thoughts of the ultimate Big John, Mr. Big. But did this wine fit? Let's see...Dark, handsome and bold and very different from the others. Check. It was a little bit of a shock to move from the previous options that, though varied, expressed a typicity of Lodi. This was definitely different. Much less overt fruit, but still nice black cherry and black fruit. The tannins in this wine were much more assertive and the color was darker. Still check. Also, this wine was more than a little food slutty, meaning it was okay on its own, but much improved by pairing with the BBQ. Excellent! Mr. Big goes with food like chocolate goes with peanut butter! At $36, this is also the priciest of this set, so again. John James Preston, if you were a Zin...

In conclusion, BBQ + Zin = Good times! Thanks to Megan for a fun WBW and Happy Birthday to WBW, who turns 5 with this month's theme!
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