Although Zinfandel’s are extremely food friendly, the best pairings are when Zinfandel’s are matched with rich and robust foods. The range of Zinfandel’s body might fall somewhere between medium and full-bodied and thus should be matched accordingly.
Pairing with Chinese FoodZinfandel and Chinese Food Takeout is fabulous, as it mixes well with everything from BBQ or Sweet and Sour Spareribs, to red sauce drenched chicken balls and pork fried rice.
Some Interesting Facts about Zinfandel:
- Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo) is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. The variety is grown in over 10 percent of California vineyards.
- Zinfandel’s origins used to be unknown, , but DNA fingerprinting has revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grapes Crljenak Kaštelanski and Tribidrag, as well as to the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in Apulia (“Puglia” in Italian, the “heel” of Italy), where it was introduced in the 18th century.
- Zinfandel may be the most versatile grape variety of them all. It can be used to make sweet blush wines (known as White Zinfandel), dry red wines, dry rosé-style wines, sweet dessert wines and even Port-style wines. That diversity also makes it extremely versatile with food.
- Zinfandel made its way to California via The Gold Rush in the 1850’s. Throughout the 20th century, California has been recognized as having the most exceptional regions for growing this hardy grape.
- During prohibition, Zinfandel was popular among home winemakers and for making sacramental wine. By the way, for a very interesting article about Prohibition, check out Sara Zama’s blog, “The Old Shelter“.
- The grapes typically produce a robust red wine, although in the United States a semi-sweet rosé (blush-style) wine called White Zinfandel has six times as many sales as the red wine. The grape’s high sugar content can be fermented into levels of alcohol exceeding 15 percent.
- When Zinfandel wine ages, it sometimes tastes “hot” (predominantly alcoholic) and is often at its best within 3-5 years of its vintage. Though I personally don’t drink Zinfandel any more (like for many, it was my starter wine, after Manischevitz, of course!), I tend to like to finish it shortly after I open it LOL.
Aside from pairing it with Chinese food, everything from pepperoni pizza to barbecued meats, and from thick, juicy steaks to dark chocolate pairs well with Zinfandel.
If you could chose ONE wine to have with your Chinese food, which would you choose?
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)