This is a wine pairing that will rock your world!

Who doesn’t love hearing that sizzle as you throw a piece of raw meat onto that red hot grill? The taste buds start to salivate as the smokey aromas waft up, tantalizing your olfactory and conjuring up images of that first bite. Add some peppers, red onions, tomatoes, zucchini, and asparagus, all dowsed in EVOO, and you are on a roll, heading towards a blissful culinary experience. Read More

University of California, Davis
Posted by Pat Bailey-UC Davis on September 22, 2015

California’s wine industry leaders predict some serious challenges, but also foresee arise in overall consumption and a growing emphasis on premium, rather than economy, wines.

Challenges remain in the form of consolidation in the distribution and retail arms of the industry as well as in water and other environmental issues, survey respondents say.
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WHAT MATTERS MORE, producer or vintage? Its one of the questions that oenophiles often ask themselves and one another when considering whether to buy a particular wine. Can a great producer overcome the odds of a poor vintage or will a year of bad weather trump even the most talented woman or man?
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Here’s a conundrum; you want a glass of wine with dinner, but only a glass. You open up a bottle with dinner and enjoy said glass. But then you’re left with a bottle of mostly full wine. The question; what to do with it? The obvious answer is to drink it. But what else can you do with it? It’s easy to just cap the bottle, leave it in the fridge or on the counter, and then drink throughout the week. But there is more that can be done with it. Here’s your answer.
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Bordeaux blends are the way to go with a porterhouse.

Going to a steakhouse and not ordering a bottle of wine is practically a faux pas.

And for the steakhouse regular, it pays to know which bottles pair best with which steaks. Enter Brahm Callahan, the wine director at Grill 23 & Bar in Boston, Massachusetts and one of only 147 master sommeliers in North America.
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Early grape harvest in Napa Valley

A worker harvests pinot noir grapes at Vyborny’s Game Farm vineyard on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 in Yountville, California . (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

As we approach the harvest season in wine country (also known as “The Crush”), hotels, lodges and BnBs start filling up. With all the hustle and bustle surrounding The Crush, harvest season is a very popular time for wine fans from all over the world to make the pilgrimage to the “holy land”.
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We found this article from had some helpful tips of what characteristics to look for when selecting a wine to pair with lobster rolls and other seafood.

The global-spanning wine list at Etchan essential New American fine dining haunt in Nashville, Tennessee is under control of Mark Kremper, the restaurant’s sommelier. In designing Etch’s wine program, Kremper’s strategy was to pull bottles from various continents in effort to complement chef Deb Paquette’s worldly bill of fare. Think tortilla-crusted catfish, pork belly with kimchi, pomegranate grilled lamb and more. Below, Kremper switches gears to consider summer seafood and the appropriate wines to drink alongside.
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Do you experience headaches after a glass of wine or two? It may not be the wine after all.

For millions of drinkers, the scariest two words on a bottle of wine are CONTAINS SULFITES.

Sulfites comprise a range of sulfur compounds—particularly sulfur dioxide (SO2)—that are a natural by-product of the fermentation process that work as a preservative against certain yeast and bacteria (which will quickly destroy a wine if they start to multiply). But fermentation alone doesnt produce enough sulfite to preserve a wine for more than a few weeks or months in the bottle, so winemakers add extra in order to keep microbes at bay. Sulfites arent just in wine. Many, many foods ranging from crackers to coconut contain sulfites. Anything thats at all processed is likely to contain at least some level of sulfites.
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GAMBA Teams Up With ESTATE Restaurant at
Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP)
“Good Eats” Event

ZAP badgeZinfandel fans know that at the end of each January ZAP holds its annual event at San Francisco’s Fort Mason.  Most people are familiar with the Grand Tasting where fans have the opportunity to taste hundreds of barrel samples, new releases and special blends.  You may even find some producers with a “special surprise” they keep under the table.  So ask!

Three-Day Event Kicks Off  With
An Evening of
Food and Wine Pairing

The three day event also features a food and wine pairing event called “Good Eats” that is held on the first day of the event.  Wineries and Zinfandel producers team up with a restaurant to highlight the versatility of Zinfandel when paired with food.

In the video below, Sondra Bernstein and Chef John Toulze of ESTATE and The Girl & The Fig Restaurants in Sonoma talk about teaming up with Agostino and Paulette Gamba from Gamba Vineyards and Winery and their Zinfandels from the Russian River Valley.

If you are going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area during the event, be sure to attend the “Good Eats” event sample some great foods paired with delicious wines.  The event takes place on January 27th from 6:00-9:00 pm.  For tickets and more information on the food and wine pairing event click here.

Note:  Click here to check out Chef Toulze’s preparation of a Game Hen over Polenta and Beans with the Gamba Zinfandel – an unusual pairing, but one that works very well.

ZAP site banner

ZAP Celebrates 20 Years of Zinspiration

The 20th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Wine Festival will take place January 27-29, 2011, in San Francisco. This annual celebration of America’s Heritage Wine will make a major splash with wine lovers worldwide.

The 20th Anniversary ZAP Festival consists of four events in three days, showcasing approximately 250 wineries, pouring their barrel samples and new releases, together with educational seminars, culinary demonstrations and decadent food pairings. The ZAP Festival is the most comprehensive showing of Zinfandel wines in the world. Main Festival Events:

•Thursday January 27, 2011: “Good Eats and Zinfandel Pairing,” Fort Mason Center, San Francisco: 6:00 to 9:00pm. Foodies rejoice! Enjoy delectable pairings from 50 restaurants and 50 wineries. Cost: $140 public/$100 members

•Friday January 28, 2011: “Flights! Stories From The Vineyard” Zinspiration Series. This event includes a rare guided tasting of Zinfandel flights. The Westin St. Francis Hotel, Union Square, 10:30 am to 1:00pm. Cost: $65 public/$40 members

•Friday January 28, 2011: “Evening with the Winemakers,” The Westin St. Francis Hotel, Union Square, 5:00 to 10:00pm. Dine with the winemakers and vintners who craft the remarkable wines presented at this opulent benefit auction and gourmet dinner high atop San Francisco. Cost: $225 includes membership

•Saturday, January 29, 2011: “Grand Zinfandel Tasting & Silent Auction,” Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, 2:00 to 5:00pm public tasting. More than 250 wineries showcase their latest releases, barrel tastings, blends and rare collections of Zinfandel. A selection of artisanal cheese and nibbles will be included. All attendees receive a commemorative wine glass. Cost: $70/$60 members (includes 1 hour early admission)

For more information and how to get tickets to various events taking place over the three days of activities, go to ZAP 20 Years of Zinspiration.

ZAP Grand Tasting