Zinfandel Fest 2013, the Best of ZINFANDEL Worldwide

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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.