Zinfandel: BBQ’s Perfect Mate

For many people across the U.S. Memorial Day has become the unofficial kick off to summer. And you know what that means? Time to fly your flag, slather on some sunscreen and fire up the BBQ .

Last week we shared some amazing Zinfandels with you and this week we have even more to offer from the “King of Zin”. And if you haven’t jumped on amazing wines yet, now is the perfect time!  With the grilling season just around the corner, Zinfandel is the perfect cook out wine to stand up to spicier and stronger flavors. Try it for yourself with these classic BBQ and Zinfandel pairings:

Memphis Style Ribs


There’s something downright primal about eating a pile of ribs–grasping a bone, bringing it to your face, ripping off a tender bite of meat, licking your chops, and going back for more–and it’s something we love. From baby back to spare, baking to grilling, barbecue-sauced to rubbed, these are finger-lickin’ good. We prefer to gnaw them in the summer outdoors–eating saucy meat with your hands is messy–but lots of ribs can be eaten wherever, whenever. That’s something we can sink our teeth into. Click Here for Recipe

Pair with:

2012 Rockwall Reserve ‘Monte Rosso’ Sonoma County Zinfadel

Wine Spectrum 94 points! 100% Zinfandel. Our block in the beautiful Monte Rosso Vineyard has 108-year- old vines and is located about 1600 feet above Sonoma Valley on Moon Mountain. The mountain is all red soil from the iron and clay deposits. If you are a vine, this is a great place to grow. Monte Rosso is one of the most sought after vineyards in California for a reason! The vineyard is so decadent; the air actually smells of sweet honey. Elegant aromas of ripe raspberry and honeycomb waft from the glass followed by flavors of raspberry, strawberry, honey, caramel, and a chocolate finish.

2012 Macauley ‘Old Vines’ Zinfandel, Napa Valley

Wine Spectrum Rated 94:   The concentration in the nose is profound. Notes of deep plum, black fruits, bright black berry, raspberry, overripe cherry and hint of pepper spice fills every corner of the nose.  The palate is yet again brooding but balanced and definitely not for the weak minded.  Plush plum, blackberry, lush kirsch and hints of espresso spice fill around the tongue as this Zin finds it’s way to the back.  The acidity is polished and the tannins enter from behind the opening act to support the transition of mid to back palate.      $39/bottle

The Perfect Burger


Mmmm…burgers. They’re not just for meat-lovers anymore. Sure, the classic hamburger is a nice beef patty sandwiched between two pillowy buns and enhanced with standards such as cheese, sliced tomatoes, a bit of lettuce, and ketchup. But these days, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what constitutes a burger: Tuna burgers, crab burgers, bison burgers, lamb burgers, turkey burgers, and pork burgers all are delicious options. Even a vegetarian version, such as a Black Bean Burger, won’t disappoint the most ardent carnivores. So whether you’re a traditionalist or an adventure-seeker, burgers are always a crowd pleaser. Click Here for Recipe

Pair with:

2012 Novy Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 

Wine Spectrum Rated 94: Undoubtedly, what we love best about this wine (and about all of our Russian River Valley Zinfandels) is the superb levels of natural acidity. With the great acidity provided by the cooler Russian River growing area, and the complexity originating from these old vines, we believe that our Russian River Valley Zinfandel combines the best of rich, forward fruit, with lively acidity, giving the wine both lift and balance. It also pops the aromatics of the wine, with vibrant aromas of raspberry and blueberries, and flavors of black cherries, sage, and even hints of spice and pepper. $29/bottle

2012 Rock Wall Harris Kratka Alexander Valley Zinfandel

Wine Spectrum 92+ points! This bright wine boasts mouthwatering strawberry that leaps from the glass followed by bright plum, coconut, sarsaparilla, dark cocoa, rosemary, lavender, black cherry, and hints of gala apple skin. 90% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane.

Other Zinfandels to pair with your BBQ’d bounty this Memorial day and through the rest of summer:

2012 Saddleback Cellars ‘Old Vines’ Zinfandel, Napa Valley

2012 Brown Estate Vineyards Zinfandel, Napa Valley

2012 Rockwall ‘Sophia Favlora’ Zinfandel, Contra Costa County 

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