A year ago, last January, I wrote a decent piece announcing the three day Zinfandel Festival put on each year by ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers. Well, the new calendar brings us to the 20th Anniversary edition of the Grand Zinfandel Tasting.
The dates of this years Zinfandel Festival, themed 20 Years of Zinspiration, run January 27-29, 2011.
Good Eats and Zinfandel Pairing kicks the Zinfandel Festival off in grand style Thursday, January 27, 2011, at Ft. Mason’s Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco from 6:00-9:00 PM. At least 50 top Zinfandel producing wineries will pair their most delicious offerings with food created by 50 of the Bay Area’s top restaurants and purveyors of tasty morsels.
Imagine tasting Carol Shelton’s acclaimed Karma Zin and Black Magic Zin paired with Smoked Elk Loin with Raspberry Compote on a Manchego Cheese Crisp AND Espresso BBQ pulled Pork with Raspberry Salsa and Point Reyes Blue Cheese on Focaccia Crostini prepared by the chefs from Nectar Wine Lounge and Restaurant. Now imagine at least 49 additional delicious wine and food pairings, each intended to showcase how well Zinfandel works in the kitchen.
This is the ultimate tasting event.
This year, Joel Peterson of Ravenswood will speak about the Old Hill Vineyard, David Gates of Ridge Vineyards will speak about Lytton Springs Vineyard, Janell Dusi of J Dusi Winery will speak about Dusi Vineyard, and Steve Tylicki of Steele Wines will speak about DuPratt Vineyard, each leading us on a liquid tasting of that vineyard. Terroir and blending choices are sure to be touched on as stories are told and passions shared.
This was the event I learned the most at last year; although sitting for an hour at lunch after Flights! with Joel Peterson and Morgan Twain-Peterson by pure chance, listening to them share their knowledge, passion, and experiences, was a special treat for me.
Evening With the Winemeakers Benefit Live Auction and Dinner Friday night, January 28, 2011 from 5:00 – 10:00 PM at the Westin St. Francis is your chance to play dress up and enjoy a sumptious meal paired with wines from 27 participating Zinfandel producing wineries.
I have not attended this event, but I have heard that is a wonderful evening for attendees.
Grand Zinfandel Tasting at Herbst and Festival Pavilions, Ft. Mason Center, San Francisco on Saturday, January 29, 2011 from 2:00 – 5:00 PM, with and extra early hour for ZAP members only, is the big daddy of Zinfandel tastings. Roughly 200 wineries show up and pour their Zinfandels. With each winery pouring from one to a dozen Zinfandels, most in the three to five range, there are more Zinfandels to taste than is humanly possible.
In what will likely be an annual posting, I urge you to attend this event. Zinfandel is California’s wine, which pretty much makes it America’s wine (written with apologies to Oregon, Washington, Virgina, and Alaskan wineries not producing quality Zinfandel). The event is as big, as serious while being fun, as the wine itself.
Tickets, and more information, are available through ZAP.