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.
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.
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.
#1- 2005 Mauritson Rockpile Cemetery Zinfandel- $28 club shipment.
#2- 2003 Sky Saddle Zinfandel-$27 WineQ.
#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 firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, a tip of the virtual hat to our founder Lenn.