Barbequing? Don’t Forget the Zin
With warm, sunny days in seemingly short supply this summer, I take virtually every opportunity I can to fire up the barbeque.
I think it’s a great idea to have a bottle of zinfandel on hand to serve with barbequed foods because most zins have a bold, robust quality with peppery, spicy undertones that complement just about anything that’s put on the grill.
California is still far and away the king of zinfandel production but Washington wineries are also beginning to produce some really nice zins – Maryhill winery and Zefina are two that come to mind – and you can expect to see more and more Northwest zinfandels start to hit the shelves in the next one to three years.
Here are a couple of suggestions to try for your next barbeque that I recently enjoyed:
Bogle Vineyards 2005 Old Vine Zinfandel (about $12) – This intense, flavorful zin is made in classic California style with a slightly high alcohol content and just a trace of residual sugar. Packed with brambly, blackberry flavors and touches of spicy oak on the finish, I think it’s an outstanding value for an old vine zinfandel.
Thurston Wolfe 2005 Dr. Wolfe’s Family Red (about $15) – This full-bodied blend from Eastern Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills is made primarily from the primativo grape – which is essentially the Italian equivalent of zinfandel – combined with petite sirah and lemberger. With plenty of nice, dark fruit flavors and a soft, yet spicy finish it’s a natural to pair with barbequed meats and vegetables.
Thurston Wolfe wines can be purchased or ordered from local wine shops, the Community Food Co-Op and selected Haggen stores.