Like bells to Pavlov's dogs, the sight of a capital "Z" this time of year starts us thinking of (if not quite drooling over) red wines native to the Golden State, punctuated by notes of pepper and raspberry. That's because on the last weekend of January, the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers Festival returns to San Francisco.
Now in its 20th year, the ZAP festival ― oh, that "Z"! ― is often touted as the largest single-variety wine-tasting celebration anywhere. Spanning three days and featuring four events, the wine starts flowing at Fort Mason's Herbst Pavilion on Thu., Jan. 27, with perhaps the most indulgent and exciting tasting of them all: the Good Eats and Zinfandel Pairing. That's when 50 wineries will pair up with 50 restaurants and, situated side-by-side, each culinary couple will offer food-wine combos designed to complement the virtues of both.
We've had a look at the menu and think it's only fair to warn vegetarians*: Of the 44 pre-announced pairings, as of this weekend 31 featured mammal and bird and two featured shrimp, but only a handful were organized around mushrooms, cheeses, pastries, and chocolates.
Among those that particularly tickled us:
• A Chef for You's "Sauteed Spinach & Crispy Pork Belly Expresso /Mocha Raspberry Orzo Pasta," matched to a Zin from St. Amant Winery
• Grillin' 4 Fun's "Meatballs with a special BBQ sauce made from Macchia's Zinfandel port and habanero's," to be paired with a Zin from Macchia Winery
• Ruth's Chris Steak House's "Lamb Lollipops with Zinfandel brown sauce," designed around a Zin from Klinker Brick Winery
Sounds great. Bring floss.
*Disclaimer: This blogger doesn't eat mammal meat but plans to attend anyway, because that big letter "Z" is looking awfully good.
Good Eats and Zinfandel Pairing
When: Thu., Jan. 27, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Herbst Pavilion, Marina (at Buchanan), in Fort Mason Center, 345-7500
Cost: $100 for ZAP members, otherwise $140
Tickets: Online via ZAP's website
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