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!


23 Responses

  1. Thank you for hosting WBW! I really enjoyed writing this month’s entry:



  2. Interesting post. Sounds like you had fun and looks like you had a great birthday cupcake. 🙂 I have had trouble my self matching a wine to BBQ sauce, not grilling per se, as dry rubs seem easier to match, but the sweetness of the sauce needs fatter, fruitier wines for them to hold up. At least that has been my observation. Thanks for hosting.


  3. I had the same problem with the Zin/Ribs combo! I think it has a ton to do with how sweet the sauce is and how spicy the rub is. Luckily, it’s a lot of fun to experiment.

    Thanks for hosting…hope my post is entertaining!


  4. Thanks for hosting! It was a great theme. I always love an excuse to eat BBQ.


  5. AWESOME! I love the blind idea. I need to do that more often.

    And that is the CUTEST picture of you and the cupcake 😉

  6. You should brown bag more often! You don’t need to open 3 bottles either.
    I played “brown bag” everyday while studying for my Sommelier exams… All you have to do is have your hubby venture to the basement and select a bottle, then brown bag it and let you write your notes and guess. Its so fun and an awesome way to hone your palate!
    Granted its only 1 bottle/night, but still fun 🙂

  7. Well this looked like a lot of fun!

    Thanks for the WBW idea as well….


    Hello Vino

  8. Thanks for the great theme, it was a perfect entry for me into the world of WBW! From ready the rest I got lucky with the right wine and its flavors matching the sweeter yet tangy sauce.


    I have to go start BBQ for tonight now! got to have something to finish of the rest of the bottles with.

  9. Megan,

    Thanks for hosting! My post is up at http://underthegrapetree.blogspot.com/2009/08/wbw-60-zin-bbq.html.

    Thanks again,

  10. LOVE Zin. I Zin in the morning, zin in the evening and zin at supper time!!!

  11. Robert you zinner you! 😉

  12. I have (Washington State) Zinned!


    The blind tasting was a good idea… Thanks.

  13. Wow! Such a BIG candle for such a little cupcake! How cute!

    I love wine tastings! I also love cupcakes. 🙂

    Three Angels Gourmet Co.

  14. I just stumbled upon your site and I wanted to let you know that I love it. As a fellow wine blogger, I can appreciate all of the work you put into it. My wife is a white wine drinker and I am a red wine drinker, but we can always agree on a good bottle of Zinfandel!

  15. fun topic! as I always love some zin!! Here’s my post – http://anythingwine.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/wine-blogging-wednesday-60-%E2%80%9Ci-have-zinned%E2%80%9D/

    great job on the blind tasting as well – way to kick it up a notch

  16. Thanks for a great WBW topic – BBQ and Zin are 2 of my favorite things! Work travel kept me from doing a new post for this, but I’m submitting this post from my Fourth of July BBQ and Zin pairing:


    Also, it interesting that many of us found our specific pairings to be disappointing. I think part of it is that many of us pulled out a more “serious” Zin for WBW (in the $25-30 range) and I think the simpler/juicer Zins do better with sweet-sauced BBQ. That’s my hypothesis anyway. Cheers!

  17. If you want a big zin to take on the ribs I would suggest you find yourself a bottle from Gamba Vineyards.

    Alternatively, I like a big syrah or petite sirah with ribs as well. Try one of K Vinters’ syrahs if you can.

  18. […] 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. […]

  19. Thanks for all your participation everyone!

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