Zinfandel vs Diet Pepsi
It’s only a about a month away from the start of summer and that can only mean one thing: it’s time we start seeing zinfandel recommended to go with barbecued foods.
How Zin became associated with barbecue I don’t know. But it is. This is both a blessing and a curse as far as I can tell. One the one hand, lots of people love barbecue and need a wine to go with the various styles of grilling, slow cooking and searing that falls under the "barbecue" heading these days. That means more zinfandel sells. One the other hand, associating Zin with Barbecuing sort of relegates Zin to a second tier status as a wine since this style of cooking is not associated with high cuisine.
I personally don’t often drink zinfandel with Barbecue. If I am going to drink wine with my famed "Caramelcued Beef Ribs" rather than Diet Pepsi on the rocks, it’s almost always going to be a cold, dry rose or a sparkling wine of some sort. I like the extra traction my palate gets from the fizz and the acid.
So, now’s the time of year I start looking for good buys on good rose and good sparkling wine. I’m going to quaff and swill the stuff, drink a lot of it, and I don’t want to deal with much alcohol. I really don’t care what country it comes from as long as the Rose is dry, fruit forward, isn’t high n alcohol and has good acid, while the Sparkler needs only be dry, yeasty and under $25. Any suggestions are appreciated.
I suspect that it will be long after I’m gone when Zinfandel breaks out of its somewhat "pedestrian" box and is considered a noble grape, something recommended to be served with haut cuisine and other fancy foods, if it ever does. Perhaps to speed that along their needs to be some sort of concerted effort to get folks to age Zin (it can age beautifully), which automatically raises its stature or to get chefs and sommeliers to pair Zin with very small amounts of foods carefully presented on large white plates in restaurants where presentation competes with satisfaction.