Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Zinfandels at a Brazilian Churrascaria

Zinfandels with Brazilian-style steaks, as I just discovered the other day, is a sensational food and wine pairing. I frequent a local churrascaria, where I've enjoyed Burgundies, Bordeaux, Cabernets, and Spanish reds. But I found out that Zinfandel is tasty, maybe even more so, with Brazilian eats!

My friends and I opened three Zinfandels: 1998 Ridge York Creek, 2000 Ravenswood Old Hill, and 2006 Turley Old Vines. All three tasted very well. The Ridge, not surprisingly, was perfectly balanced. It has matured well—the texture is velvety and the wine is absolutely seamless.

Ravenswood's Old Hill had a lot of sediment. Age has given it old world appeal. Edgy and a bit rustic, it was attractively dry and elegant as well; yet its powerful fruit was still fresh with a delicious spicy bite.

The slices of grilled lamb, sirloin, garlic pork, chorizo, brisket, and chicken hearts were luscious with both the Ridge and Ravenswood, but the Turley Old Vines tasted too sweet for the meats. To our amazement the side dish of sugared fried plantain (standard in churrascarias) provided a great neutralizer for the Turley. A bite of plantain with the grilled meat turned out to be the perfect way to enjoy the Turley!

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