Wine Blogging Wednesday #60: I Have Zinned

By Kori ~ August 12th, 2009.

Mom's complete Texas BBQ mealOur host for the August edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday, the blogosphere’s monthly virtual wine tasting event, is Sonadora of Wannabe Wino. She selected I Have Zinned as this month’s theme because she loves Zinfandel and it pairs well with summer BBQ and other grilled fare. We were asked to “pull out a Zinfandel, throw something on the grill (or the Foreman or in a pan if you don’t have either), and tell me about your favorite grilled or BBQ’d food and how it goes with Zinfandel.”

When I read Sonadora’s theme, I knew immediately that this was the perfect excuse to indulge in leftovers from Mom’s Fourth of July BBQ. We interrupt this wine blog post for a little BBQ education from a native Texan. There is a distinct difference between real BBQ and anything cooked on a grill outside. Hamburgers and hot dogs are not BBQ; neither is roast beef with lots of BBQ sauce slathered on top. Real BBQ is smoked by slow-cooking the meat in a pit over indirect heat. And let me tell you, it is soooooo good!

Since moving to Seattle fifteen years ago, it is the rare occasion that I’m able to enjoy real BBQ. Once a year on the Fourth of July, Mom cooks a complete Texas BBQ meal. Depending on the number of guests we have joining us for the holiday, she cooks for at least one full day, sometimes two. She mesquite smokes beef brisket, pork ribs, and Luling sausages. For sides, she prepares baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, garlic bread, and her secret recipe BBQ sauce. And as if that’s not enough food, we top it all off with her homemade banana pudding. Since she only prepares this meal once a year, she always smokes extra meat so that we can enjoy leftovers once or twice during the year.

Washington Zinfandel: 2005 Forgeron and 2006 Columbia Crest ReserveZinfandel pairs well with almost all grilled meats, whether it is real BBQ, hamburgers, or even hot dogs. For most people, Zinfandel is synonymous with California, and California definitely does Zinfandel well. However, as regular Wine Peeps readers know, we are tireless advocates for Washington State wines so we decided to blind taste two Washington Zinfandels, the 2005 Forgeron and the 2006 Columbia Crest Reserve. Zinfandel acreage is limited in Washington right now, but more and more wineries are attempting to produce at least small amounts of Zinfandel. Both of these wines show the potential for Zinfandel in the state. All four of us enjoyed both wines, but we thought the Forgeron was excellent. Zinfandels can often be high in alcohol but neither of these wines seemed particularly hot. They were both fabulous with Mom’s BBQ because they really stood up to the rich food without overpowering it.

2005 Forgeron Zinfandel (Columbia Valley, Washington): Deep, dark red with loads of black cherry on the nose. Luscious black fruits, especially plums, licorice, and a hint of black pepper come though on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with medium tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $30; MadWine (Washington), $27.99

2006 Columbia Crest Reserve Zinfandel Stone Tree Vineyard (Columbia Valley, Washington): Dark purple. Aromas of sweet BBQ sauce and eucalyptus; flavors of dark cherry and bittersweet chocolate. Medium-bodied with medium tannins. A bit jammy with a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Winery, $35

Filed under: American Wine, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Blogging Wednesday, Wines Over $25, Zinfandel

Reader's Comments

  1. Darren Austin | August 12th, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Great post. I love BBQ and love Zinfandel. Our favorites are usually California but it’s great to learn about good offerings from Washinton. Thanks for the review of Forgeron. I can’t wait to check that out.

  2. Sonadora | August 12th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    You’re the second Washington Zin entry! I didn’t even really know that they made Zin in Washington. It sounds fabulous though! I love real BBQ–I just didn’t want to limit people who didn’t have time to slow cook all day. I whipped up some nice slow cooked ribs though! Your mom’s feast sounds amazing! Thanks for participating.

  3. Joe | August 12th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Amen on the explaination of “real” BBQ!!!

    There are pork ribs in Texas?

  4. Frank | August 12th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I am now craving “real BBQ.” I’m thinking perhpas the Wine Peeps should host a real BBQ shindig at WBC2010 since we’ll be here in WA. I too picked a Washington State Zin since I’m here in Seattle this week. Had a difficult time finding one (went to five stores). The Zinfandel grape appears to be an endangered species here in WA, which is surprising because the climate seems reasonably well suited for the grape.

  5. Bill | August 12th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    1. I am a wine club member of Forgeron, in part, because I think Forgeron’s Zin is the best of the bunch…i.e., superb!
    2. Another fav ZIN of mine from my cellar:
    Sineann Old Vine Zinfandel Columbia Valley, WA.
    3. Also, check out Bernard Griffin’s Zin, too! You’ll be zinning more!!!
    4. Okay, I did a quick ‘bing’ search for WA Zin and here are some others to try:
    Buckmaster Zinfandel, WA
    Columbia Crest Reserve Zinfandel, Stone Tree Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA
    Maryhill Proprietors Reserve Zinfandel, WA
    Maryhill Zinfandel, Columbia Valley, WA
    Owen Roe Zinfandel, Columbia Valley ,WA
    Pleasant Hill Zinfandel, WA
    Red Diamond Zinfandel WA
    The Pines Old Vine Zinfandel, WA

    Of these, I recommend The Pines and Owen Roe.
    So, my short list: Forgeron, Sineann, The Pines, BG.
    Livestrong, Bill

  6. Kori | August 12th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks! I’d love to hear what you think of the Forgeron Zin once you have a chance to try it.

    Thanks again for hosting. Loved your theme. We are definitely spoiled by Mom’s BBQ.

    There are pork ribs in Texas. 🙂 Beef ribs, too, of course. But personally I prefer beef brisket and pork ribs. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it.

    So glad to hear that you tried a Washington Zin too. Bummer it took five stores to find it. When you’re in the Seattle area again, the best overall selection of wines can be found at Esquin (Seattle) and Pete’s (Bellevue).

    Thanks for the other Washington Zin recommendations. I’ve had some but not all of those. We’ll have to check them out.


  7. WBW #60 Round Up: I Have Zinned « Wannabe Wino Wine Blog | August 17th, 2009 at 5:01 am

    […] Our 4th Washington State Zinfandel comes from Kori over at Wine Peeps! She tasted 2 Zins blind (clearly another great mind!), the 2005 Forgeron Zin (same as Catie!) and the 2006 Columbia Crest Reserve Zin.  The meal she had with it made me want to hop on a plane and beg her mother to make BBQ for me too!  Find out which Zin prevailed by heading over to Wine Peeps. […]