Zinfandel and Food

I’ve never been much into Zinfandel, the signature grape of California, now hotly contested by Italy and Croatia, both of which claim the paternity of the variety, as DNA tests show that Zinfandel is closely related -if it is not the same grape- to the Primitivo grape of Southern Italy and Croatia’s Crljenak.

If the grape’s DNA identity is confirmed, hell will be on its way, as many producers in Italy will call their wine Zinfandel if so they wish, putting serious competition to the Golden State’s exports to Europe. The issue makes Californian producers very nervous, and with good reason.

Whatever the case, at the last Everything Wine Zinfandel tasting I enjoyed several California renditions, which I will describe in a future posting. What I wanted to say on this one is that I found Zinfandel tremendously food friendly. We had it paired with a variety of cheeses, charcouterie, even spicy sauces and the deep red, fruity wine came out chin up from all the encounters.

ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, an organization from California, claims that their beloved wine is the best red match for Oriental cuisine. After the tasting, I start to believe they may be into something. Although never had a big following in Vancouver, the large influence of Asian food here may well change that, as more wine lovers discover this affinity of Zin wine for Zen food.



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