Celebrating Zinfandel Day with Lodi Wine at Cantara Cellars

What’s my favorite wine for Thanksgiving? ZINFANDEL! It’s magical with turkey and ham, and it can stand up to all those crazy rich side dishes.1461699_10151785584630924_330197425_n

So what better time to celebrate zinfandel day but in November as we’re preparing for Thanksgiving and figuring out the wines we want to enjoy on this special day?

Today I’m heading over to Cantara Cellars in Camarillo CA where we will taste zinfandel from the Lodi region as well as other wines from Lodi that you might want to consider sharing with your friends and family on Thanksgiving, or other special occasions. We’ll be posting pictures and tasting notes with the hashtag #lodiwine if you want to follow along.

These are the wines that were sent to me as samples for the twitter tasting that we will be opening today from 5-6pm:

2011 Klinker Brick Winery Bricks & Mortar Cabernet Blend $30
2012 St. Amant Winery Marian’s Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel $24
2010 Mettler Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon $25
2010 Harney Lane Winery Lizzy James Old Vine Zinfandel $35
2009 LangeTwins Winery & Vineyards Centennial Zinfandel $60
Read more recommendations for wines for Thanksgiving turkey here and wines for Thanksgiving ham here.

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Well, Thanksgiving Day may have come and gone, but thanks giving itself should continue on! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with a delightful assortment of adult beverages! (More on what we ate and drank in a later post!)

 

Originally posted on art predator:

May your thanksgiving celebrations be as colorful as this turkey by my nine year old son which we taped to our purple front door (look Mom, he said, no brown!)

May your heart be full of gratitude and your tummy full of tasty treats!

May you take a moment to hold hands with friends and family and count your many blessings.

I am grateful for so much this year: my life is full of countless blessings. My son and his creativity, my husband and his patience are just two ways that I am grateful this year.

I also want to thank you for being one of my readers and subscribers; I am grateful to you.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Did you blog about Thanksgiving?

I’d like to encourage you to read this blog post about Thanksgiving and gratitude by a wine blogging, cartoon drawing  friend of mine.

View original

Holiday Wine Challenge Part 3: Ham & Zin!

I realize now that fixing a two traditional holiday Thanksgiving or Christmas meals –first a ham dinner then a turkey dinner– and tasting a bunch of wines with the food really was quite a challenge. If I was a stay at home wine blogger (and not teaching 75% time, working on a PhD, and being a mom!), I am sure I could have accomplished it before Thanksgiving! As it is, I made due with a steady stream of tweets and facebook posts to share what I was tasting and learning. And I know thanks to search engines, people will be finding these posts for years to come!

So wthis zin is great with ham or turkey for holiday meals like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easterhat did I learn about ham and wine?

The big surprise was how well the ham dinner went with the 2007 Sonoma County St Francis Old Vines Zinfandel (under $20). I knew I would like this wine with turkey but on a whim I decided to open it. As I tasted through the line-up, I didn’t expect much of the zin. However, the chemical reaction between the ham and the zin was wonderfully tasty!

So much so that if I was to recommend one wine to bring, especially f you didn’t know what was going to be served, I’d go with a zinfandel because it works with ham, turkey, appetizers including blue cheese and crackers, as well as red meats like prime rib.

Zinfandel is a wonderful food wine and accessible to many people even if they are not regular wine drinkers. Read my discussion of the St Francis Zin with turkey here.

My second favorite for the ham from this line-up is the 2010 M. Chapoutier Bellaruche Cotes-du-Rhone. Personally, I really enjoy dry roses with ham (here’s a discussion of a dry rose from Bordeaux with ham).  There is something about the combo of the spice and sweetness and salitiness that makes this work so well. I also tried this the next morning with ham and eggs and a cranberry pecan scone and I would definitely recommend this wine for brunch or one of those breakfast for dinner kind of nights.

I also tried the 2010 Oak Mountain Winery Muscat from Temecula Valley CA $18 (winery price) because I had an open bottle. I liked this well enough with the ham. Here’s more about it in my post about the International Food Bloggers Conference dinner which is where I got it. I should have included a Riesling or Gewürztraminer in the tasting as these are typically great wines with ham. But there was already a lot of wine open!

The other two wines I tried were also good wines but not that exciting with ham:

2009 Louis Jadot  Beaujolais-Villages considered one of the best wines under $25!

While this wine wasn’t my favorite with the ham, it’s a great choice for appetizers. I love it with pate, cheese and crackers.

2009 Craggy Ridge Pinot Noir ($35-45) As I wrote when I reviewed it with turkey, this is a lovely, delightful complex pinot noir, full of earth and moss and violets and chocolate and tarragon, truly a wonderful Pinot Noir from New Zealand, lush, sensual. I wouldn’t bring this wine to a big holiday meal with tons of people– save it for when you can focus on it and savor it! I bet it would be better with a pork loin or chop than with salty ham.

What wine do you like to drink with ham?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!