Zinfandel: The Go-To Red for Spicy Ethnic Fare

We’ve written about Kenwood Vineyards’ “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon in the past. By combining dependably exceptional wine with the works of talented artists, Kenwood has created what has become one of California’s iconic wine releases.

The Sonoma Valley winery also embraces the practice of pairing wine with food in order to create memorable culinary experiences. That’s why, late last year, it conducted a “Perfect Pasta Pairing Contest.”

The contest attracted contestants from across the United States. Once the entries had been evaluated, the recipes tested, and the pairings savored, the judges made their decision. The grand prize went to Susan Cortesi of Mount Prospect, Ill., for her pairing of Kenwood’s Sonoma County Zinfandel with “Moroccan-Inspired Lamb Bolognese with Chickpeas Over Whole Wheat Pasta.”

Noted Cortesi: “The Zinfandel is full-bodied and slightly sweet, and really complements the spicy, subtle sweetness of the sauce, as well as the earthiness that the whole wheat pasta and chickpeas bring to the overall dish.”

Cortesi’s award-winning recipe is here. She will receive a three-day, two-night Kenwood Vineyards culinary experience for two, including roundtrip airfare, deluxe Sonoma Valley lodging, meals, daily car service, a VIP tour of Kenwood and more.

As Cortesi’s recipe demonstrates, Zinfandel — red, not “white” — makes a wonderful pairing partner for spicy fare, which explains why you’re seeing it more and more often on wine lists at ethnic restaurants. It also pairs beautifully with barbecued meats, as well as pepperoni pizza and traditional Italian pasta dishes.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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