Excitement at Epicuria: The 2013 Zinfandel Festival

At the 2013 Zinfandel Festival, Epicuria

At the 2013 Zinfandel Festival, Epicuria

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending Epicuria, the exciting commencement of the 2013 Zinfandel Festival.  This informal dine-around event provided culinary creations from 50 master chefs paired with 50 Zinfandel wines. There were a LOT of people eagerly waiting in line when the doors finally opened.  We may not have tasted everything available that evening but we certainly gave it a good shot, and wanted to share with you the benefits of our efforts.  These were our favorite findings at Epicuria on January 31:

Favorite Wines at the 2013 Zinfandel Festival Epicuria

Grape Cluster Balloon ArtWe tasted most of the Zinfandel and Zinfandel-based wines being poured that night, which was made easier by the fact that about half of the wineries were only offering one wine.  If you’re looking for ideas on Zinfandels to add to your collection, or to search for in your local wine store, consider the following dozen wineries.  At Epicuria, these were our favorite wines of the evening:

Dashe Cellars (Oakland, CA) – 2010 Florence Vineyard Zinfandel

Dogwood Cellars (Healdsburg, CA) – 2010 Primitivo

Dry Creek Vineyard (Healdsburg, CA) – 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel

Gnarly Head WineryGnarly Head Winery (Lodi, CA) – 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel, 2010 Authentic Red (Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah)

Hendry Wines (Napa, CA) – 2010 Blocks 7 & 22 Zinfandel

m2 Wines (Lodi, CA) – 2010 Artist Series Zinfandel

Mellowood Vineyard (Fair Play, CA) – 2008 Zinfandel

Mounts Family Winery (Healdsburg, CA) – 2010 Old Vines Zinfandel

Robert Biale Vineyards (Napa, CA) – 2011 R. W. Moore Vineyards Zinfandel

Storybook Mountain Vineyards (Calistoga, CA) – 2009 Antaeus (Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot)

Tres Sabores Winery (Rutherford, CA) – 2010 Rutherford Estate Zinfandel

Troon Vineyard (Grants Pass, OR) – 2011 Foundation ’72 Zinfandel


Favorite Food Offerings at the 2013 Zinfandel Festival Epicuria:

Food options at the Epicuria event ran the gamut from soup to pasta to sliders to cupcakes.  Dish components included mushrooms, truffles, sausages, and short ribs.  Meat dishes were based on items that had been smoked, braised, barbecued, or prepared as confit.  We’ve listed below the offerings we felt were delicious, well prepared, and the most complimentary to the Zinfandel wines being poured nearby.  These are the restaurants/food purveyors we were impressed by and will be keeping an eye out for in the future (and we suggest you do the same):

Ricotta-Black Truffle Pansotti from Rose Pistola

Ricotta-Black Truffle Pansotti from Rose Pistola

Alebrijes Mexican Bistro (Lodi, CA) – Chicken Croquette with Chipotle Aioli

Rose Pistola (San Francisco) – Ricotta-Black Truffle Pansotti with Parmesan Broth & Shaved Black Truffle

Rosso Pizzeria (Santa Rosa and Petaluma, CA) – Braised Short Rib Ravioli

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (multiple locations including San Francisco and Walnut Creek, CA) – Lamb Lollipops

Seghesio Family Vineyards (Healdsburg, CA) – Amarena Cherry & Balsamic Glazed Ribs

Sift Cupcake & Dessert Bar (Santa Rosa, Cotati, Napa, San Francisco) – Gingerbread Cupcakes with Zinfandel Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting from Sonoma Cake Creations

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting from Sonoma Cake Creations

Sonoma Cake Creations (Santa Rosa, CA) – Cinnamon Cupcake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, and Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and a Dark Cherry Zinfandel Sauce

The Pasta Queen (Gold River, CA) – Porcini and Truffle in Egg Pasta Ravioli with Roasted Hazelnut and Porcini Alfredo Sauce

Twenty Five Lusk (San Francisco, CA) – Duck Confit Crepe with Organic Watercress, Comte and Dried Cherry Powder

Epicuria was just the beginning of ZAP’s annual Zinfandel Festival, and we suspect many of the attendees also went to the Grand Tasting on Saturday, February 1st.  If you were at either event, we’d love to hear about your favorite experiences this year.

Dark & Delicious TMWhether or not you attended Epicuria, if the idea of a single-varietal-focused food and wine pairing event appeals to you, there is another one coming up soon in the Bay Area you should seriously consider attending.  On Friday evening, February 22, Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah™ provides an amazing wine and food experience with 55 premium Petite Sirah wineries and 30 fabulous Napa and Bay Area restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors.  This event takes place in Alameda, but you can only purchase tickets in advance so please go here to read more about the event and its participants.


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