California Dreamin’ With Ravenswood WinesJun 16th, 2012 | By Peter Minakis | Category: American, Featured, Talk Toronto, Wine
The first time I enjoyed a glass of Zinfandel was back in 2002 when I visited San Francisco and took a day-long tour of the vineyards of Napa. Prior to this trip I only heard of white zinfandel, a rose-looking wine that was popular with the ladies and wine lightweights. Erase any notions you’ve had about Zinfandel and remember that it is a red grape varietal worthy of being added into your wine collection.
A few weeks ago I was invited to meet Joel Peterson, owner and winemaker at Ravenswood of Sonoma at the Airship 37 space in the Distillery District. For that haven’t traveled to San Francisco, the road to wine country is a ride north of the city, across the Golden Gate Bridge then you pass the once hippy (now very posh) seaside town of Sausalito then you’re on your way to Sonoma and Napa.
Joel Peterson has being making Zinfandel before it was stylish or vogue, it’s not for wimps – a forward red wine with no apologies and a joy to cook with and a delight with some distinct ingredients. Joel Peterson’s wine have earned him the monikers “King of Zin”, “Godfather of Zin” and the wine…”Original Zin
On this particular warm Spring evening, Ravenswood wines lubricated the evening and TV celebrity chef Rob Rainford fed us with creations from his latest BBQ/grilling book. We were schmoozing in an open space with food stations set around the perimeter with food and wine pairings from Ravenswood. Here’s how the evening rolled…
The first bite I had was a bison burger (slider) paired with the Ravenswood Vitners Blend Zinfandel 2010. Bison is a lean meat, rich in flavour and if you’re not careful it will dry on you. These bison burgers were juicy, paired with caremelized onions and Zinfandel was a nice match to the rich bison flavour.
Next up was the grilled lamb chops…served in a glass with an exotically spice eggplant puree and paired with another Zinfandel, this ime the Sonoma 2009. The eggplant is perfect for lamb, the red peppers and harissa were picked up my the wine and the creme fraiche in the glass cooled the palate.
Next up were some grilled figs…just the bite t takes to California with the Tedelschi 2008, a Zinfandel blended with Petite Sirah, Carignane, Alicante Bouschet. The blackberry syrup and espresso cream brought out some leather notes in this red.
Next up was my favourite cut of of beef, the rib-eye! Rainford hit a homer with this one with a medium-rare beef sliced and served with grilled asparagus and fire roasted red pepper Hollandaise. The Old Hill 2008 was served with the rib-eye, a Zinfandel and Mixed Blacks blend.
Our last tasting brought us to the cheese tasting station, paired with Chauvet 2008. Artisan local Canadian cheeses with fine Cali wines, a fine ending to a Spring kick-off of grilled food and fine wines. I have some great ideas for Summer entertaining!
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