This week I attended the ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) food and wine event in NYC. These guys are serious about promoting Zin and do a wonderful job at it. This particular event was a Pairsine Chefs Food & Wine Pairings,basically meaning they paired up a number of really nice dishes with different Zinfandels from various producers. The event was held in the Sun West Studios on the West side of Manhattan. Needless to say the views were pretty impressive and only enhanced while sipping some tasty Zins! Here were a few of my favorites from the event.
Best Overall Zin: Ridge Geyserville 2009 Sonoma
Big and juicy with lots of spice, yet surprisingly smooth for a young Zin. Very sophisticated wine.
Best Family of Zins: Ravenswood Zinfandels
Everyone knows their entry level wines offer great value, but their small production Teldeschi and Belloni Zins were really impressive, especially from such a large outfit.
Best Newcomer: Chacewater Zinfandel 2010 Sierra Foothills
This is their first bottling and damn was it tasty! I see big things for these guys….
Biggest Surprise: Tie between Opolo Vineyards and Pedroncelli Winery
Opolo’s Summit, Mountain and Reserve Zins all showed very well, especially at the price points offered. Pedroncelli had 2 Zins, both under $20 that were soft with beautiful fruit. They also had a Zinfandel Rose (NOT White Zinfandel) I was somewhat skeptical about, but I will be seeking that one out for a summer BBQ sipper.
Biggest Disappointment. Cakebread Cellars Zinfandel 2009 Red Hills Lake County
I know, I know… everyone loves Cakebread. But in all honesty, I’m not sure I get it. In a room full of great Zinfandels, this one was just OK. It wasn’t bad, but there was nothing that really stood out about it. And of course, Cakebread is NOT cheap…
This ZAP movement is up and coming and they will be having more of these events throughout the country. So if you are a Zinhead (one who favors the Zinfandel varietal), then I strongly suggest checking them out the next time they are in town. The events are not inexpensive, but you certainly get your money’s worth both in quality and quantity of solid food and killer Zins.