What goes really well with meat and zesty barbecue? The answer is Zinfandel. This spicy, jammy wine is a fine match with just about anything barbecued or grilled and it’s also fabulous with pizza.
As my husband and I head over to Aptos St. BBQ one Saturday night, we grab a bottle of Sones Cellars Zinfandel, Central Coast ($26 from DeLuxe Foods of Aptos). Friends kept telling me how good the barbecue place is, so we had to try it. Being very familiar with Sones Cellars’ wines, I knew we would have no problem enjoying the Zin. Thanks to the expertise of winemaker Michael Sones, it’s a sure thing that the full-throttle flavor of a good Zin will be captured in every bottle.
I’m a great believer in sharing wine. After all, the sharing of food and wine with other people is one of the joys of life. When Aptos St. BBQ owner Larry Ingram opened up our bottle of Zinfandel, I gave him a glass to try. Not surprisingly, he loved it. It turns out that Larry and his brother Franz are both very fond of good wine, and although the family’s restaurant is very casual, they are looking at getting some good local wines to go along with their delicious barbecued meats. Meanwhile, they carry quite a few wines, beers and other drinks to slake one’s thirst.
But back to the sinful Zin. Winemaker Sones says that this classic Zinfandel is made from some of their favorite grapes – sourced from Central California – with briary cherry aromas and flavors, along with warm spices. All I can add is that this well-balanced and approachable Zin is the perfect libation to go with a plateful of mouthwatering barbecue.
Sones Cellars, 334B Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 420-1552. sonescellars.com. Winetasting on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Surf City Vintners complex. Aptos St. BBQ, 8059 Aptos St., Aptos, 662-1721. aptosstbbq.com.
Vintners’ Festival: ’Tis the time for the annual Vintners’ Festival – to be held on two consecutive weekends. June 5 & 6 is the Western side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, so that includes Santa Cruz County. Many wineries will be pouring at local restaurants, and participants are encouraged to take a self-guided tour. Enjoy barrel tasting, music, art and food – and meet the winemakers along the way. Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Info: 685-8463 or scmwa.com.
Alfaro Family Vineyards Winemaker’s Dinner at Ma Maison with Richard & Mary Kay Alfaro: Chef Lionel LeMorvan will prepare a special four-course dinner to be paired with the superb wines of Richard Alfaro. Friday, May 28 at 6 p.m. Ma Maison Restaurant, 9051 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-5566. Cost: $65 (excluding tax and tip.)