Readers are encouraged to check out the upcoming annual Zinfandel Festival sponsored by ZAP or Zinfandel Advocates and Producers. There are four events (Epicuria, Flights, Zinfandel Winemaker's Dinner and Grand Tasting) with the Grand Tasting being a fun, informal event where you may sample over 200 different premium Zins. There are smaller Pinot Noir and Petite Syrah festivals, but nothing quite like this one. Think of it as one of those necessary lifetime experiences and put it on your "bucket list." Cheers, TJ
FROM BOAR TO MOLECULAR WINE ICE CREAM
50 ZINFANDEL VINTNERS TEAM UP WITH 50 RESTAURANTS
Rough & Ready CA, December 2012---- Epicuria: Food & Zin Pairings is a culinary adventure where 50 top Zinfandel wines and wineries collaborate with 50 chefs, taking place on January 31 in San Francisco, one of four events making up Zinfandel Advocates & Producers’ 22nd Annual Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco. Tickets are $95 for ZAP members and $125 for non-members. The meticulously crafted combinations cover a rainbow of Zinfandel-food pairings, from boar to beef to the sweet side.
Epicuria is the Festival’s first event, taking place from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Concourse (635 8th Street at Brannan in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco94103-4901). “It’s an amazing gourmet adventure, exploring the versatile flavors of Zinfandel, "explains Rebecca Robinson, Exectutive Director, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers "You will have the opportunity to sample sophisticated and whimsical culinary creations from master chefts, perfectly paired with 50 top Zinfandel wines and you can savor tantalizing delicacies from the ZinKitchen celeberity chefts while you learn their techniques." she adds.
Want to make Muleheart Farm Pork Chili (from Central Market) or Braised Pork Belly Bahn Mi Sandwich (from the Ledson Hotel)? These are some of the recipes being presented at Epicuria which will be appearing on the ZAP website, http://www.zinfandel.org/
Want to experiment with desserts and Zinfandel? Several of the winery-restaurant teams had that idea----Barefoot Cellars with Sonoma Cake Creations, Dogwood Cellars with Sift Cupcake Frank Family Vineyards with Chef Tyler Stone (Frank Family Molecular Wine Ice Cream Dessert), Grgich Hills Estate with 3D Candies (Raspberry Hazelnut Caramel and Lavender Black Cherry Vanilla Caramel) and Scott Harvey Wines with Healdsburg Toffee (Assorted candies).
What about a combination to stretch the boundaries? Several teams are offering non-traditional combos---namely Klinker Brick Winery with Radius (Duck Liver Mousse with Blackberry Gastrique), Gnarly Head Winery with Johnny Garlic's (Sashimi Won Tacos), Peachy Canyon Winery with Swan Oyster Depot (Shrimp Cocktail), and Renwood Winery with Eastside West Restaurant (Achiote Braised Lamb - mango & olive salad, cheese fried plantains, mint, cilantro).
Wild boar often makes an appearance at Epicuria; this year presented by Rosenblum Cellars with Chef Joey Altman (Wild Boar Sugo over Creamy Polenta with Bellweathers’ San Andreas Sheep's Milk Cheese) and Saddleback Cellars with Rosamunde Sausage Grill (Lamb Merguez & Wild Boar Sausage with Mango Chutney and Sauerkraut).
Additional teams include Alexander Valley Vineyards paired with Flavor Bistro (Sweet Potato Timbale flavored with a trio of cheese), Artezin Wines with Truffle Gateau, Ballentine Vineyards with Rose’s Café, Berryessa Gap Vineyards with Le P'tit Laurent, Black Stallion Winery with Black Stallion’s Estate Chef, Bonneau Wines with Ruth's Chris Steak House, Brazin' Cellars with Sauce (Braised Beef Short Rib Sliders), Cakebread Cellars with Cakebread Cellars’ Culinary Department (Braised Short Ribs with Daikon, Carrots and Ginger- Sesame Broth), Calstar Cellars with Cabot Creamery (The World's Best Cheddar Cheese),Carol Shelton Wines with Pizzeria Rosso, Charter Oak Winery with Fifth Floor Restaurant, Chase Cellars with BarberQ, Cycles Gladiator Winery with Chef Marco's Catering, Dashe Cellars with Twenty Five Lusk, D-Cubed Cellars with A-16, Dry Creek Vineyards with Maven, Four Vines with City College of San Francisco, Harney LaneWinery with SavoyEvents, Hendry Wines with Kinyon! Culinary Services, LangeTwins with Straits San Francisco, M2 with Alebrijes Mexican Bistro, McCay Cellars with Wine & Roses, Mounts Family Winery with Savvy Production & Events (Curried Pork& Winter Squash), Outpost Estate with Mustard’s Grill, R&B Cellars with Soleil’s African Cuisine, Ravenswood Winery with Central Market, Robert Biale Vineyards with Alexander’s Steak House, Ridge Vineyards with Harris’ Restaurant (Harris' Signature Steak Tartare), Rock Wall Wine Co with Le Truc, Seghesio Family Vineyards with Winery Executive Chef Peter Janiak (Seghesio Signature Ribs), St. Amant Winery with A Winechef For You, Chef Tony Lawrence (Cuban Slow Braised, Poked, Jerked, Rubbed & Spiced Pork), St. Francis Winery with Executive Chef David Bush (Five Spice Pork Spring Rolls with Smoked Chili Hoisin), Starry Night Winery with Il Davide Restaurant (Black Truffle Porcini filled Agnolotti, White Truffle Fondue), Storybook Mountain with Rose Pistola, Terra d'Oro Winery with Taste, Three Wine Company with Starbelly, Tres Sabores with Local Mission Eatery, Troon Vineyards with Vegetarian Gourmet and Wilson Winery with Carneros Bistro.
The next Festival event is Flights, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at The Fairmont Hotel (950 Mason, San Francisco 94108) on Friday, February 1. A seated seminar-style tasting will further a detailed understanding of the uniqueness of Zinfandel. Details: http://www.zinfandel.org/
Another event is the Zinfandel Winemakers’ Dinner, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. at The Fairmont Hotel on Friday, February 1: a glamorous evening where a walkaround tasting precedes a live auction and sumptuous dinner. The proceeds benefit ZAP’s programming, education and heritage vineyard projects.
The concluding event is the Grand Tasting, 2:00 p.m. –5:00 p.m. at The Concourse on Saturday, February 2, is the world’s largest single varietal tasting, a chance to taste more than 200 different Zinfandels. Participating wineries:
Tickets for all events are on sale online at zinfandel.org.
VENUE IS THE CONCOURSE
This will be the second year for ZAP to base Epicuria and The Grand Tasting at The Concourse. “The Concourse is a terrific venue for us, located in the heart of SoMa and downtown San Francisco, with easy access to public transportation and a comfortable and elegant venue for our events,”explains Rebecca Robinson.
ZINFANDEL ADVOCATES & PRODUCERS
The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers is a not-for-profit, member-based, educational 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP’s mission is to advance public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. Winegrowers, winemakers and wine enthusiasts combine to form the membership. The common focus is the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America’s heritage wine. ZAP’s membership includes approximately 250 winery-members, 4,000 advocate members and 100 associate members. The annual Zinfandel Festival is part of ZAP’s ongoing program focused on outreach and promotion of Zinfandel as America’s Heritage Wine. The Festival provides an opportunity for Zinfandel producers to introduce their wines to a wide base of consumers, media, and members of the wine trade.