What goes 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.
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. Sones’ 2013 Zinfandel ($26) certainly garnered a lot of attention at the Dare to Pair Food & Wine Competition in April. It was voted best wine by the public and judges alike. And as one of the judges that day, I ranked this wine highly out of the bevy of excellent varietals we tasted. Students of the Cabrillo College culinary program go to great lengths to prepare dishes to pair with each wine in the competition, resulting in a fun and flavorful day at every participating winery in the Swift Street Courtyard complex.
Sones and his wife Lois Sones say that this classic Zinfandel is made from some of their favorite grapes—sourced from Central California—and resulting in 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 good barbecue.
Sones Cellars, 334-B Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 420-1552. sonescellars.com.
Art for Africa
Where would we be without the generosity of wineries, breweries and restaurants donating their wares to help people in need? Kobler Estate Winery in Healdsburg has donated much of the wine for an event to be held in Aptos on Saturday, Aug. 12 to raise funds for a research project to help women in Mansa, Africa get access to the health care that they need. Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine in Aptos (and now with a new location on 41st Avenue in Santa Cruz) has donated most of the food. Funds will be raised through a raffle of art from local artists, as well as health and wellness gift certificates. Local artist Sally Bookman will be painting a unique piece of art at the event, which will be the grand prize for a lucky winner. Visit AFnet.org/donations and go to Mansa Health Assessment, or for more info go to amyhanley.blogspot.com.