With all of summer’s festivities, like Naperville’s Ribfest, barbecue takes center stage for casual dining. If beer is too filling and vodka tonics or margaritas are too strong, wine may be your beverage of choice. With barbecue’s rich, bold and spicy flavors, a slightly chilled red zinfandel is an ideal pairing with this summer fare.Zin city, U.S.A.Zinfandel wine and barbecue are both American in nature.While zinfandel’s roots may trace back to Eastern Europe, it’s presence in today’s wine world is decidedly American. Until recently, zinfandel was California’s most widely planted red grape varietal (recently surpassed by cabernet sauvignon). It is not prevalent anywhere else in the world. Zinfandels are jammy with boysenberry notes, loaded with fruit and are slightly peppery. They have soft tannins and tend to be dry in style. Zinfandel is a warmer-climate grape but is known to thrive in cooler climates such as the Russian River Valley in California.California regions known for quality zinfandels include Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, the Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and Mendocino’s Redwood and Anderson Valleys. There is a trio of zinfandel vintners that consistently produce quality wine. Known as the three “R’s,” these exceptional wineries are Ridge, Rosenblum and Ravenswood. Other… Read full this story
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