WBW #60 Round Up: I Have Zinned

A hearty thanks to all who busted out some Zin to participate in the 5th birthday of WBW! As you probably gathered by now, I set the theme for this momentous occasion to I Have Zinned. I asked everyone to grab a bottle of Zin and pair it with their favorite grilled or BBQ food.  Zin and BBQ is one of my favorite pairings and it seems to be wbwlogosome of yours too! Though I did discover this time that Zins that have aged a little don’t seem to have the oopmh to stand up to sweeter BBQ sauce.  I think several others had the same revelation!

Overall, 30 folks joined us for WBW #60, with posts on 29 wine blogs!  Across the board, 46 Zins were reviewed for this WBW.  I’m happy so many joined in for the 5th birthday celebration of WBW!  I know participation lags in the summer as folks tend to be on holiday and such, so I appreciate the effort! Below are snapshots of all the posts, click through to read everyone’s full take on Zin and BBQ (or pizza in John’s case…though I kinda wish he’d grilled up some tofu or something ;) )

Our first entry came in over a week early from David at Cooking Chat. He picked the 2007 Ridge Paso Robles Zin to pair with his ribeye. Sadly, he found it to be a bit underwhelming for the price point, though I expect it might have needed a little more time…07 is young for a Ridge Zin! Read his whole take here.

Ryan over at Oe-no-phile also joined with an early entry. He went off the beaten Zin path and picked a 2006 Old Vine Zin from Sineann, a winery with a Zin vineyard that straddles Oregon and Washington…so technically it’s a Washington State Zin. In short, he loved loved loved it.  Check out his fully review here.

Another early entry, Jason of This Blog and 20 Bucks Can Definitely Get You a Great Bottle of Wine (wow, that’s a mouthful!) picked a Zin I am very familiar with the 2006 Camellia Cellars Leconi Vineyard Dry Creek Zinfandel.  He paired it with an Heirloom tomato salad and grilled Moroccan chicken. You can read his review and check out his dinner here.

Randy, The Wine Whore, joins us for the WBW, and chose a Zin that I also have hanging around waiting for me to taste it!  He picked the 2006 J. Keverson Old Vine Dry Creek Zinfandel and presents us with a fun pictorial review of his experience tasting it.  Visit The Wine Whore for his review.

Bill from Wine for Newbies brought out the big guns for this WBW, tasting through 6 Zins! Though he admits he only tasted one of them with his BBQ! All 6 hail from Lodi and he picked the 2007 m2 “Old Vine” Soucie Vineyard, the 2007 Bargetto Zinfandel Old Vine, the 2007 Macchia Zinfandel “Oblivious”, the 2006 Mettler Vineyards Zinfandel “Epicenter”, the 2006 Harney Lane Zinfandel “Lizzie James” Vineyard, and the 2006 Michael David Gluttony “Old Vines”. Head on over to Wine for Newbies to read all about them.

Richard, who writes Silene’s Cellar, told us a lovely story of his first eye-opening Zin experience with a 1977 Monteviña Special Selection Zin.  He follows up that tale with a a blind tasting of 3 Zins (great minds think alike!).  Richard picked that 2005 Hendry Block 7 Napa Zin, the 2005 Dendor Patton Wisdom Mendocino Old Vine Zin, and the 2005 Sequum Riverwash Dry Creek Zin. Which won? You’ll have to visit Silene’s Cellar to find out!

Next up, Shea of Just Grapes. Shea chose to write up his visit to Mazzocco Winery after the Wine Blogger Conference where they make many Zins (I’ve visited before, but not in years). He tells us about the 6 Zins he tasted, with his favorite being the mighty pricey $120 2006 Antoine Phillipe Reserve. Read about them all here.

My roomie from WBC, Catie, aka the Walla Walla Wine Woman, brings us, what else? Zin from Walla Walla, Washington! I was actually surprised by the number of Washington Zins that popped up for this WBW, though I would expect nothing less from Catie!  She picked the 2005 Forgeron Cellars Zinfandel and paired it with Bulgogi, which sounds delish! Head on over for her recipe and wine review.

Our first Zin mishap comes from Rob over at Wine Post. (Who, by the way, recognizes how multi-talented I am at smiling and talking at the same time.) He picked up one of my favorites, a 2006 Titus Zinfandel. Sadly, he found it cooked. What a shame, it’s a great wine!

Then there’s me. I also did a blind tasting of 3 Zins! I chose the 2003 Sky Saddle, the 2004 Ridge Lytton Springs, and the 2005 Mauritson Rockpile Cemtery Vineyard.  I tasted mine with BBQ and found my BBQ sauce seemed to overwhelm the Zins, but of course, I didn’t let that get in my way! Read about my Zins here.

Kevin over at Under the Grape Tree joined us with a Zin from afar.  Now, I don’t see too many Zins coming out of Australia, so I was thrilled with this obscurish pick.  He chose the 2006 Groom Bush Vine Zin from Barossa. Over two days, he paired the wine with a grilled steak and BBQ ribs, and thankfully had better luck than I did with the BBQ sauce pairing! His review is here.

The Brix Chicks went all out for this WBW! Brix Chick Janesta reviewed the 2006 Gluttony Old Vine Zinfandel one of many Zins the Brix Chicks tasted that evening! They also smoked some meat and Janesta posts a photo of Sean Connery as 007…how does that connect with the wine? You’ll have to read to find out!

Jim from VineGeek submitted the post on Zin he did last month, seeing as how he had just written about the exact topic at hand, I decided to let him slide ;) He chose the 2006 Cline Bridgehead Contra Costa County Zin, and sadly found it a bit lacking for the price point.  His full write up is here.

Gwendolyn, aka the Art Predator, (gee, what’s with all these bloggers with several aliases, lol), joins us with yet another Ridge Zinfandel.  Folks love Ridge Zins, one of the kings of Zin in my mind! She picked the 2006 Ridge Lytton Springs to go with her marinated tri tip and it blew her out of the water! Check out her review here.

We got another Brix Chick post out of the event too! Liza wrote up several of the other wines that they enjoyed with their brisket.  To round out the tasting, they enjoyed the 2006 Harney Lane Lizzie James Vineyard Old Vine Zin, the 2007 m2 Wines Soucie Vineyard 1916 Block Lodi Old Vine Zin, and the 2007 Newsome Harlow Big John’s Vineyard Calaveras Zinfandel. Quite the tasting. Head on over to the Brix Chicks for the details!.

Over at Drink What You Like, Frank brings us yet another Washington State Zinfandel! That’s three so far! I had no idea so much Zin was coming out of Washington, but that makes my mission clear: I must have some.  Frank searched through 5 wine shops in Seattle before finding the 2006 Maryhill Zinfandel.  He find it to be a decent QPR wine and hopes to taste more Washington Zin in the future. His review is here.

Joe, the Suburban Wino, has a great sildeshow/video up of the tantalizing ribs he made to go with his Zin. It’s worth a visit just for the drool worthy BBQ, as well as his review! He chose the 2006 Cartlidge and Browne Amador Zinfandel. It appears he preferred his ribs to the Zin, but thought it was fine for the price point. Visit Suburban Wino for the full review!

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.

Not a traditional WBW post, but Hello Vino participated by bringing us some info about Zin!  They write about the history of Zin, talk about how alcohol levels affect the fruit, and offer suggested grilled and BBQ foods to pair with it! Head on over to Hello Vino to read all about Zinfandel.

A fairly new wine blogger, Dee Wineo loses his WBW virginity on the Zin and BBQ theme!  He BBQ’d up some pork steak (which I just learned about last week when friends of mine made it for dinner while I was out in St. Louis!) and pulled out a value Zin to pair with it, the 2007 Foxglove Zinfandel.  Read about how his pairing turned out here.

My favorite Lush, Thea, aka Winebratsf, of course joined us for this WBW as she has a similar affection for Zinfandel like me! Raising it up yet another notch, Thea attended the ZAP summer outing and visited 3 wineries and tasted a plethora of Zins. She chose to focus on Rockwall Wine Company and D-Cubed Cellars in her post, highlighting 2 of their Zins along with the BBQ at the event. Visit Luscious Lushes for the full report.

Debbie, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, had a mishap with her post too: her dog ate her tasting notes! Now there’s a new twist on the old “the dog ate my homework” excuse!  Not to fear, being a trooper, Debbie sacrificed and opened another Zin in time for WBW! She chose the 2006 Truett Hurst Red Rooster Old Vine Dry Creek Zinfanel.  Read her review here.

My friend John over at Anything Wine joined in on the fun, though being a vegetarian he skipped the toss some meat on the grill part….I think he should do a follow up on how Zin pairs with grilled tofu or veggie burgers! John picked the 2006 Seghesio San Lorenzo Block 8 Zinfandel.  A sure winner, head on over for his take on the wine.

Now, I hope the link for this participant will work. Grace, the CellarMistress, posted her WBW on FaceBook. I’m not sure if you have to be her friend to read it, if so, let me know and I’ll reproduce the whole thing here. Grace chose the 2006 Seghesio Family Vineyards Della Costa Alexander Valley Zin.  You can (hopefully) read her review here!

Michelle from My Wine Education had to do a local twist on the theme, being loyal to her beloved Cincinnati (and also started Wine Blogging Thursday)! She picked the 2006 Zincinnati Zinfandel from Mendocino. The story on this wine is that a local distributor teamed up with a CA Zin producer to create this wine! Swing by My Wine Education for the full story!

John of Brim to the Dregs came out of WBW hiding to join in on the BBQ and Zin theme on Wine Blogging Thursday as well. He had a little trouble with the grilling part…first it rained and then his cooking skills failed him and his steaks were a bit more well done than intended. Good thing he had an excellent bottle of Zin to make things right! John chose the 2005 Fritz Dry Creek Zinfandel (one I’ve had many times!) and you can read his review here.

Our founding father Lenn also came in for Wine Blogging Thursday ;) with a Zin he had trouble finding.  He picked the 2000 (oldest Zin for this WBW!) Neyer’s Pato Vineyards Zinfandel. Unfortunately, he thought it seemed tired and speculated that perhaps it hadn’t been stored properly for the time it lived in the store. Head on over to Lenndevours for his review.

Another Wine Blogging Thursday participant, Jill of Domaine 547 came out of blog, Zinfandel, and WBW hiding to join in the fun! Jill doesn’t drink a lot of Zin, so I appreciate her stepping out of her wine zone and trying a Zin! She picked the 2007 Homefire Homecoming Dry Creek Zin. It made her reconsider stocking some Zins in her soon to be open brick and mortar store! Read her review here.

For a Wine Blogging Sunday entry, we have Andrew of Spittoon, our first international participant for this WBW!  He had a bit of trouble finding a Zin, his stores only had two options.  With little in the way of choices, he ended up with the 2007 Bonterra Vineyards. Sadly, he didn’t find it very food friendly.  Read his full review here.

And finally, joining us for Wine Blogging Monday is Erika of StrumErika.  Erika plucked the 2007 Merryvale Jan Vineyard Napa Zinfandel from the share pile at work to pair with her sister’s famous hot wings.  While the wine didn’t live up to expectations, the hot wings sound mighty fine to me! Visit StrumErika for her full review and wing recipe!

Thanks again to everyone for breaking out the Zin in honor of WBW’s 5th Birthday and Zinning with me. And as always, a nod of the hat to Lenn for founding such a lasting event and for having me host this month! If I missed your post, please let me know and I will happily add it in!

WBW #60: I Have Zinned

The Contenders

The Contenders

Welcome to Wine Blogging Wednesday #60! This month I am hosting the 5th birthday of WBW, and I set the theme to “I Have Zinned.”  You can read all the original details here, but the short and sweet version is that I asked you to pick a Zinfandel and make some BBQ or grill some meat! Zinfandel is one of my favorite wines with grilled or BBQed food, so I drink lots of it in the summer and I want to hear about your great matches with it!

Seeing as how I’m hosting, I had to pull out some stops for my own post.  I decided to pluck 3 Zins that had been resting comfortably in my cellar and do a blind tasting quasi-vertical tasting. Quasi-vertical meaning that I picked wines from 3 consecutive years but from different producers. I actually probably could have pulled this off with Zins from the same producers, but, hey, it was my birthday and I wanted to do it this way!  I picked the bottles and bagged them in brown paper bags.  Then Matt uncorked them and mixed them up so I wouldn’t know which was which. We numbered them and set about tasting with BBQ ribs and without.

In the glasses.

In the glasses.

Zinfandel #1: Spicy, pepper, cranberry, brown sugar, black fruit, black currants, milk chocolate, raisins, chocolate covered cherries, blackberry, black cherry edges, some red fruit on the finish. At first I found the wine to be lighter/thinner in the mouth than I expected but after it aired I found it to be rounder and smooth.  This got top marks for being the best on its own.

In my natural state.

In my natural state.

Zinfandel #2. Tart fruit nose, bright blackberry, bright dark fruit, fresh, juicy nose, cream, vanilla, pepper, raspberry edges, mint, red fruit in the mouth , peppery, spice, dry tannins, smoke, herbs, eucalyptus.  I liked this one more on its own than number 3, but I didn’t care for it with BBQ.  We only tasted the small sips we poured into our glasses and finished the bottle the next night after leaving it out on the counter with just the cork stuck in.  On night two, this had transformed into a delightful wine, with big dark fruit in the mouth, nice structure, and herbs.  I’d suggest running this into a decanter.

Zinfandel #3. Jammy black currants, blackberries, spice, black cherry, tart cherry, blackberry, dried rose, blue fruit, nice acidity, a hint of candied fruit, meaty, red fruit, ready to drink.  This got top marks for drinking with BBQ.  I didn’t like it as much on its own, but you’ll have to ask Matt how this tasted on night 3 as I had taken off to St. Louis for work.

Zin 1-2005 Mauritson Cemetery Vineyard

Zin 1-2005 Mauritson Cemetery Vineyard

#1- 2005 Mauritson Rockpile Cemetery Zinfandel- $28 club shipment.

Zin 2-2003 Sky Saddle

Zin 2-2003 Sky Saddle

#2- 2003 Sky Saddle Zinfandel-$27 WineQ.

Zin 3-2004 Ridge York Creek

Zin 3-2004 Ridge York Creek

#3-2004 Ridge York Creek Zinfandel-$28 purchased at winery.

We had a lot of fun doing this tasting. I rarely get around to blind tasting mainly because it’s just the two of us and we normally only open one bottle of wine at a time. I think what surprised me the most was how little I liked the wines with the BBQ ribs.  Our BBQ was maybe just a touch too sweet and it really made the wines taste thin.  I laughed, because my whole premise for this WBW was that I love Zin with BBQ.  And I usually do. But I also usually grab for the really young fruit and pepper up in your face Zins to pair with it.  Here, I chose older Zins that had mellowed and smoothed and perhaps didn’t have the oomph left to stand up to the BBQ sauce.

I can’t wait to see how everyone else fared! I hope you all had a good time with the theme too! Get me your entries by leaving a link here or sending me an email at ctsonadora@gmail.com. As always, a tip of the virtual hat to our founder Lenn.

Dessert & Birthday Celebration!

Dessert & Birthday Celebration!

WBW #47-Brought to you by the letter "S"


I have to admit, Wine Blogging Wednesday almost slipped my mind this month. With the holiday weekend here in the US and being on vacation last week for it, my thoughts were elsewhere. As we were driving home from work last night I was talking about how I needed to drink a sample wine I had received a few weeks ago and I was making plans for that when it suddenly occurred to me that WBW was here!

This month, our hosts of the nearly 4 year old (wow, congrats Lenn on starting such a wine blog phenomenon) WBW are Erin and Michelle of Grape Juice. They have picked a very different theme, which has pretty much given us free reign on what to drink, so long as it relates to the letter “S.” The theme is “Brought to you by the letter “S.”” That sorta makes me want to start singing “C is for cookie and that’s good enough for me!”

For this one again, yay!, I was able to dive back into my own wine collection (phew, helps with the wine budget) to get a wine that was easily suitable for this theme.

I chose the 2005 Sonoma County Sky Saddle Syrah. Is that enough esses for you? :) I purchased this wine from WineQ for $25.99 (free shipping cause I spent more than $35), it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 15.2% alcohol by volume. Sky Saddle is a completely organic and/or biodynamic winery and also uses oak barrels from a sustainable forest. I’ve had their Zinfandel before and had nothing but raves for it, so I was very excited to try more of what they had to offer.

My first note on this wine is that it needs to be decanted. On first pour/taste, the wine was tight and it definitely needed some time to aerate. Now, an hour or so later, the wine had opened beautifully.

The nose showed berries, plums, spice, red fruit, earth, oak, cream, violets, and white pepper. It was quite a nose once it was allowed to open up. Full of aroma and layer after layer of different scents. I’m sure if I kept sniffing it I would have gotten more, but as usual when I have my nose buried in a glass, Matt was almost through his 2nd glass and I haven’t even tasted mine yet.

In the mouth I found tart red raspberries, zingy blackberries, plums, other red fruits, earth, vanilla, berries and cream, pepper. The wine was still a bit tight and tannic. This one could definitely hang out for several more years in my cellar, or else, decant for at least 2 hours before you serve it.

Overall, another great offering from Sky Saddle. I look forward to trying the Cabernet Sauvignon I have hanging around!

Many thanks to Michelle and Erin for the theme and for hosting this month!

Literally In the Saddle

*Disclaimer-I received this bottle of wine as a sample from WineQ because I am a member of their Beta Club.

The wine for the evening was a 2003 Sky Saddle Zinfandel from Twin Oaks Vineyard in Sonoma County. It clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and can be purchased from WineQ for $25.99.

I would suggest opening this bottle a half hour or so before you want to drink it, it needed to open up just a touch before I really got the full aroma and flavor from it.

On the nose the wine showed perfumed spices, lavender, rosemary, other spice, earth, dark cherries, and blackberries. The nose had a floral characteristic and lots of fruit came shining through. I thought the aroma was really complex and layered for a Zinfandel, in addition to being quite enticing; it made me want to jump right in. The mouth followed through on the nose, complex and layered, the flavors kept coming. I found black cherry, blackberries, chocolate, spice, earth, leather, rosemary, and yummy chocolate covered fruit. The mouth also had a similar floral characteristic to the nose.

I served the wine with pizza, and while it was fine with my homemade pizza, I must say, I truly enjoyed the glass I savored after dinner. This wine had so many flavors and layers that I really didn’t want any food aromas interfering with my enjoyment of the wine! As I finished my 2nd glass, the wine continued to smooth out of the next hour or so, leading me to believe this wine could hang out in the cellar for a couple more years, though is drinking great if you give it a half hour now!

I know Farley of Behind the Vines reviewed the same bottle about a month or so back, you can read her take on the wine here! And in fact, I liked the wine so much that I added a bottle to my Q over at WineQ and a bottle of the Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. If they are half as good as this I think I’m in for a treat.

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