Posts Tagged ‘Wine and Food’

White Zinfandel. There’s a time and a place.

November 6, 2013


I drink White Zinfandel.


I said it.

Considering that 10% of all wine sold in the United States is White Zinfandel, it’s hard for me to imagine that anybody reading this post right now has never had a taste of that sweet, pink, fermented grape juice.

Considering that you are the type of wine drinker that reads blogs, it would be hard for me to imagine that your personal wine cellar has anywhere close to a 10% composition of White Zinfandel.  In fact, I doubt that your collection has any White Zin at all.

Why would you?

It’s pink.  It’s sweet.  It’s one-dimensional.

Dare I say…

In my neck of the woods, you’d get your ass kicked for drinking that stuff.


What the hell was I thinking when I brought home this?


Sutter Home 2012 California White Zinfandel: The Original


I know that most of us say that we would not be caught dead with this sweet stuff in our houses, but you’ve gotta know that there is a time and a place for White Zin.

A while back, I went to a wedding in Phoenix, Arizona (and wrote about it here).  It was 95 degrees out, and I was wearing a warm-ass suit.

They were serving some White Zin at the bar, and I decided to go for it.


It was exactly what I needed.


Slightly sweet.


It was exactly what I needed at the time.

From that moment forward, I swore that I would never overlook any type of wine just because it’s not en vogue.

There is a time and a place for everything.


It’s been quite some time since my last White Zin experience, so I thought I’d try my hand at a food pairing with the original pink stuff… Sutter Home 2012 California White Zinfandel.

First, let’s give it a taste, and see what we’re working with…

Color: Pink.  I mean… seriously.  This is what you would expect White Zin to be.

Nose: The fruit is definitely present on the nose.  Big, juicy strawberries, with a bit of lemon/lime soda poured over the top.  There’s a surprisingly nice minerality here.

Taste: More of the same.  Sweet strawberry juice with lime citrus and some nice mineral notes.

Score: There’s nothing that exciting about a wine like this.  It’s neither an in-your-face mind-blower, nor is it a nuanced thought-provoker.  It just is what it is… A delicious, and refreshing, adult beverage.  Crack one open right after finishing some yard work, and you’ll be stoked.  It’s an easy 82 for me.  That’s right.  I said it.


On to the food!


Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with a Spicy Peanut Dressing. The acid of the wine, elevates the peppery notes from the slaw.


Hot and Sour Soba Noodle Soup with Peas and Gyoza. The wine provides a refreshingly fruity note to the sour and earthy edges of the soup.

Seriously, guys…

If it’s been a long time since your last White Zinfandel, you may want to give it another shot.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Stay Rad,


Okay, guys… Here’s your homework assignment. Head on down to the grocery store with five bucks, pick up a White Zinfandel, and leave your tasting notes below.  We want to know your take on the pink stuff.


Wine and Tomatoes

August 6, 2013

It’s summertime in California!

With all the delicious, seasonal foods available this time of year, Kara and I have made a habit of hitting up the farmers market as much as possible.  Recently, I’ve been really happy with the quality of tomatoes that we’ve been picking up.

Check out what Kara put together for us last night…


Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil and Balsamic Drizzle

To go along with it, I made a far less impressive sandwich…


Mozzarella and Tomato Panini on Whole Wheat

For such a simple, rustic, and inexpensive summertime meal, I had to pour the perfect wine to go with it…


Tedeschi 2011 Lucchine Valpolicella Classico

I have been a fan of the wines of Valpolicella for a couple of years now (thanks in large part to Jonny Brandy for telling me to check this region out a while back).  While this area is probably more well-known for its higher-end Amarones and Ripassos, the entry-level Valpolicellas offer a great quality of wine for the price.  I picked up the 2011 Tedeschi at Vintage Wine Merchants in San Jose for only fourteen bucks!

Color: Dark ruby-red.

Nose: While the nose was quite tight when I originally opened the bottle, there were some pretty, woodsy and dark berry notes with subtle hints of bright cranberry.

Taste: This wine is straight earthy!  Tons of soil, forest floor, and crimini mushroom flavors took center stage.  There were nice notes of cranberry fruit on the mid-palate, which gave way to a long, lemony, acidic finish.  As the wine opened up over time, some serious, dark, dried fruits began to take over.

Score: While the wine was a good representation of Valpolicella, it came off as a bit too thin on the mid-palate.  This is a solid 88-pointer that is worth checking out.

Food Pairing: The tomato salad was very fresh and vibrant.  When paired with the wine, I noted a nice expression of cranberry and black pepper flavors.  The buttery and starchy bread from the panini did a good job of highlighting the earthy flavors from the wine.

Do yourself a favor…

Pair yourself a wine with a tomato dish.

You know it’s gotta work…

Tomatoes and wine both come from vines.

Stay Rad,


What’s your favorite fresh tomato-based dish? What wine would you pair with it? Leave a comment, and let us know.

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