I’m Talkin’ BBQ, Jack!

Well, the big event is just about upon us. The 2012 Zins, Blends, & BBQ event at our Monte Bello Estate. It’s tomorrow. And I can already smell the sauce.

My baby got sauce. Your baby ain’t sweet like mine.

The pairings we’ve assembled for this year’s rendition are pretty extraordinary. Our guests will be the final judges, of course, but we’re pretty excited. Dig this:

Kansas City-style charred free-range chicken thighs

w/ mustard & bacon potato salad

paired w/ 2010 Ridge Vineyards Paso Robles Zinfandel

“Northern California-style” Smoked Seitan,  in Carmichael reduction sauce

served in hand-made corn tortillas w/ avocados, crème fraiche, and pickled heirloom carrots 

served w/ 2009 Ridge Vineyards Carmichael Zinfandel


North Carolina-style pulled Duroc pork butt

w/ simple slaw

paired w/ 2010 Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel

16-Hour smoked Texas-style grass-fed brisket

w/ burnt-end pinto beans

paired w/ 2009 Ridge Vineyards York Creek Zinfandel

Our chef this year is Daniel Cote of The Chef’s Chateau, and we’re thrilled about his participation and his contributions. Daniel certainly has a great restaurant pedigree (Bouchon and The Village Pub, amongst others), but it’s his work as an independent chef that has made him an absolute favorite of Ridge Vineyards. He is a devoted ambassador for, and student of, Northern California’s long-standing culinary devotion to all things healthy, sustainable, and local, and his regionally-minded and agrarian-centric ethos, combined with flair, imagination, and formidable technique, make Daniel and The Chef’s Chateau wonderful partners to work with. It is a particular pleasure to work with Daniel on pairing wines and foods, and we feel the pairings we’ve developed this year are some of the most magical we’ve yet tasted for our zinfandels.

There are essentially four possible results when pursuing a successful wine & food pairing: Not Successful (two perfectly good flavors taste diminished when together); Neutral (wine & food co-exist without interacting); Really Good (wine & food taste lovely together); and Magical, when not only do the wine & food taste lovely together, but they become even more than the sum of their parts. This the holy grail of wine & food pairing!

We’ve set our oeno-culinary pairing sights set on tomorrow, and we hope each and every one of our guests finds the holy grail with every wine and every dish!

And speaking of wine, we’ve got a VERY EXTRA SPECIAL library wine on offer tomorrow! The final choice still standing in the aftermath of rigorous (and hotly debated!) internal tasting, this wine is a rarity on multiple fronts, and we’re very much looking forward to sharing it with our guests. We began with a short list of small-production, winery-only offerings from deep within our cellars …

… and finally selected the 2003 Ridge Vineyards Nervo Zinfandel as our star of the weekend show! And what a great history behind this wine:

Frank and Marie Nervo left Italy’s Veneto for the United States in the early 1890s. Like many such Italian pioneers to northern California, they settled at the Italian Swiss Colony in Asti. In 1896, they were able to purchase two hundred and fifty acres south of Geyserville; it included ten acres of hillside vineyard. They planted more vines and, in 1908, built a square, two-story stone winery, which they named Venezia, after their home region. The majority of this wine comes from the hillside of mixed zinfandel and petite sirah planted over one hundred years ago and the rest from the mature thirteen year old vines.

As noted above, we did a great deal of tasting analysis en route to making our final selection, and what follows is a sampling of comments from the various tasting notes that were produced in those sessions:

2003 Ridge Vineyards Nervo Zinfandel

–Aromatics rich with baked fruit & fall spice notes …

–Blackberry & Current aromatics …

–Very ripe nose of black cherry and cocoa powder underpinned by a subtle earthy note …

–Intriguing dose of plum & dried tobacco leaf on the front …

–Very present acidity …

–Dusty tannins that show as well-coated …

–Quite cohesive, structurally …

–Sweet-fruited and reminiscent of cherry cola …

–Hints of cola sweetness mid-palate …

–Cherry & Raspberry notes emerging in the finish …

–A long finish; very “autumnal” in character …

–A good wine to pair with some tangy BBQ sauce …

–This will be the crowd pleaser …

Intrigued? Us too!

We hope you’ll be joining us for the event tomorrow (it’s now sold out, but hopefully you got a ticket already!), but if not, please stay tuned for the follow-ups, and hopefully, we’ll see you for Zins, Blends, & BBQ 2013!

Cheers to all, and to all a good Zin! (& BBQ pairing!)

Categories: Monte Bello, Offerings, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Wine & Food Pairing, Zinfandel

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Trying to protect my keyboard from the drool!;-)

  2. holding ticket, mouth watering….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: