Once every month, wine bloggers the world over drink wine with a common theme. This month is the 5-year anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday (originally started by my friend Lenn at Lenn Devours) and the willing host was Megan of Wannabe Wino. Megan asked us all to enjoy a nice Zinfandel with a meal cooked on the grill. Kevin and I took one look at our in-house Zinfandel choices and knew we just had to celebrate this WBW with a Cincinnati twist.
The meal: Pork (since Cincinnati is famous for, um, flying pigs) with a baked potato. The pork was marinated in Barleycorn's BBQ sauce, made right down the road in Cold Spring, KY.
The wine: 2006 Zincinnati Zinfandel, Mendocino, CA
What? A Cincinnati Zinfandel? You bet your flying pigs! A local distributor, Tramonte & Sons, got together with Rich Parducci, the wonderful winemaker at McNab Ridge. Together they created the limited edition Zincinnati Zin. In fact, the 2007 vintage was just released this month.
McNab Ridge is a fantastic winery out in Mendocino that participates in the Coro line of zinfandels. We had the opportunity to meet Rich and try several of his wines, including the Coro, back in March at the now-defunct Oceanaire. Rich makes some excellent wines, so it came as no surprise that the 2006 vintage of the Zincinnati struck just the right chord.
On its own (and admittedly a bit too warm), the wine was a little acidic. Cooled down to the correct temperature, we picked up a nice structure. On the nose, we got a lot of black raspberry and some chocolate. Dare I say it was as fragrant as Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip? On the palate, we easily picked up more black cherries, as well as some nice earthiness. (I love to taste some earth in my wines.) Finally, the wine has a supple and long finish, lingering in your mouth. I want to point out that this wine comes in at 14.8% alcohol. I'm usually sensitive to higher alcohol wines, but this one was balanced enough that I wasn't bothered by the alcohol content.
When we paired it with the marinated pork, we were pleasantly surprised. It was an excellent pairing. We had picked Barleycorn's sauce over the Montgomery Inn sauce because Kevin isn't a big fan of the Montgomery Inn sweetness. Turns out, Barleycorn's sauce is almost as sweet. This actually worked in our favor. The sweetness in the sauce brought about a softness in the wine. It wasn't overly tannic anyway, but the sauce seemed to soften it even more. For its part, the wine seemed to bring out a bit of spice in the sauce that might otherwise have been overwhelmed by the sweetness. Note to all local BBQ restaurants: put some Zincinnati on your menu!
The 2006 vintage is no longer available, but I know you can find the most recent vintage at the Dilly Deli & Cafe in Mariemont for $16.99.
Overall, this was a great pairing and a great theme. Our rating, for both the meal and the wine, is a
. Thanks to Megan for hosting and happy birthday WBW!
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