Zinfandel Fest 2013, the Best of ZINFANDEL Worldwide

When a friend invites you to a wine and food pairing party featuring more than 50 Zinfandel wines, well, you don’t really say no. Thursday night was the Epicuria Food & Wine pairing at The Concourse in San Francisco, an all-out celebration of the many takes on bottling Zinfandel and the food it best compliments. A long-time fan of Pinot, I’ve come to enjoy Zinfandel more in the past couple of years (perhaps it’s my Croatian roots showing?
I learned Zinfandel grapes are genetically identical to a Croatian red grape, Crljenak Kaštelanski).
  Admittedly, it wasn’t the best place to be a vegetarian and I missed out on many aspects of the pairing. However, my no-meat policy did help me moderate at an event where it was very easy to have too much of a good thing. With restaurants such as San Francisco’s Sauce and Local Mission Eatery serving up, respectively, Beef Short Rib sliders and Confit Guinea Hen (paired with wines by Brazin and Les Sabores ) the event was a lesson in the merits of moderation as much as the perils of excess. Even if I did pass on many a well-constructed morsel (Duck Confit Crepe with Organic Watercress, Comte, and Dried Cherry Powder by Twenty Five Lusk anyone?)
I was able to compare and contrast many of the Zin’s and enjoy quite a few delicious bites. Savoy Events offered an intriguing Indian ‘Dhokla with Butternut Squash and Smoked Tomato Chutney(paired with wine by Harney Lane ) and I could have parked it at il Davide Restaurant’s station and made a full meal out of their Black Truffle Porcine filled Agnolotti, White Truffle Fondue (paired with Starry Night wine). OMG.
I also got a kick out of running into the hometown Alameda wine and food contingent amid the sea of SF and Napa foodies: R&B Cellars paired their wines with Soleil’s African Cuisine, for this event a Coconut Fish and Bean Stew, which saw many a taster going back for moreYum. I’ll toast to that.
Don’t miss this if you’re in the Bay Area. It’s an annual event SO worth attending.
Deborah Crooks
Deborah Crooks (www.DeborahCrooks.com) is a writer, performing songwriter and recording artist based in San Francisco whose lyric driven and soul-wise music has drawn comparison to Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde and Natalie Merchant.

Singing about faith, love and loss, her lyrics are honed by a lifetime of writing and world travel while her music draws on folk, rock, Americana and the blues. She released her first EP "5 Acres" in 2003 produced by Roberta Donnay, which caught the attention of Rocker Girl Magazine, selecting it for the RockerGirl Discoveries Cd. In 2007, she teamed up with local producer Ben Bernstein to complete "Turn It All Red" Ep, followed by 2008's "Adding Water to the Ashes" CD, and a second full-length CD "2010. She's currently working on a third CD to be released in 2013.

Deborah's many performance credits include an appearance at the 2006 Millennium Music Conference, the RockerGirl Magazine Music Convention, IndieGrrl, at several of the Annual Invasion of the GoGirls at SXSW in Austin, TX, the Harmony Festival and 2009's California Music Fest, MacWorld 2010, Far West Fest and many other venues and events. She toured the Northwest as part "Indie Abundance Music, Money & Mindfulness" (2009) with two other Bay Area artists, and followed up with "The Great Idea Tour of the Southwest in March 2010 with Jean Mazzei.
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