Saturday, July 19, 2008

Zinfandel- Hot Fun in the Summertime!

Zinfandel -Hot Fun in the Summertime!

Grills are fired up, wood smoke is in the air and the smell of roasting meat is mouthwatering. It may be 95 degrees in the shade, but this is the time most of us have waited for all year. So, let’s have some barbecued ribs and a delicious glass of red wine. Red wine? In this weather? Of course! Not a light, elegant glass of French Burgundy or a pricey Napa “cult” Cabernet Sauvignon, but a hearty red wine that can stand up to grilled burgers and brauts and ribs.

For summertime sipping, try red Zinfandel. A big, juicy gulp of easy-to-drink red, Zinfandel partners with hearty summer fare. Good Zinfandel has aromas and flavors of chocolate-covered black cherries and sweet blackberry jam, and is a real crowd- pleaser.

Some of the most interesting and food-friendly Zinfandels are made by Ridge. Winemaker Paul Draper has been making Zinfandel (and the pricey Ridge Montebello Cabernet Sauvignon) at Ridge almost 40 years, and is still at the top of his game. To give his Zins well -balanced flavor profiles, Draper adds bits of blending grapes to his each of his different Zins, which include the Lytton Springs, Paso Robles, Ponzo and Geyserville bottlings. The Ridge Geyserville 2005 is made of 77% Zinfandel blended with 17% Carignane and 6% Petite Sirah for structure. This is a beautifully balanced Zin with great fruit and a hint of sweetness, making it a superb match for barbecued ribs with raspberry-chipotle sauce.

Region: Sonoma
Price: about $30

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