From Boar To Molecular Wine Ice Cream, 50 Zinfandel Vintners Team Up With 50 Restaurants

Images courtesy of ZAP and Wayde Carroll

Zinfandel Advocates & Producers presents the 22nd Annual Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco January 31 – February 2, 2013. “The ZAP Festival is one of the wonders of the wine world,” explains Bob Biale, President, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. “The Festival offers an appreciation of Zinfandel from every angle you can imagine, from the academic to the lighthearted,” he adds.

Epicuria: Food & Zin Pairings is a culinary adventure where 50 top Zinfandel wines and wineries collaborate with 50 chefs, taking place on January 31 in San Francisco, one of four events making up Zinfandel Advocates & Producers’ 22nd Annual Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco. Tickets are $95 for ZAP members and $125 for non-members. The meticulously crafted combinations cover a rainbow of Zinfandel-food pairings, from boar to beef to the sweet side.

Epicuria is the Festival’s first event, taking place from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Concourse (635 8th Street at Brannan in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco 94103-4901). “It’s an amazing gourmet adventure, exploring the versatile flavors of Zinfandel,” explains Rebecca Robinson, Executive Director, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers “You will have the opportunity to sample sophisticated and whimsical culinary creations from master chefs, perfectly paired with 50 top Zinfandel wines and you can savor tantalizing delicacies from the ZinKitchen celebrity chefs while you learn their techniques,” she adds.

Want to make Muleheart Farm Pork Chili (from Central Market) or Braised Pork Belly Bahn Mi Sandwich (from the Ledson Hotel)? These are some of the recipes being presented at Epicuria which will be appearing on the ZAP website.

Want to experiment with desserts and Zinfandel? Several of the winery-restaurant teams had that idea—-Barefoot Cellars with Sonoma Cake Creations, Dogwood Cellars with Sift Cupcake Frank Family Vineyards with Chef Tyler Stone (Frank Family Molecular Wine Ice Cream Dessert), Grgich Hills Estate with 3D Candies (Raspberry Hazelnut Caramel and Lavender Black Cherry Vanilla Caramel) and Scott Harvey Wines with Healdsburg Toffee (Assorted candies).

What about a combination to stretch the boundaries? Several teams are offering non-traditional combos—namely Klinker Brick Winery with Radius (Duck Liver Mousse with Blackberry Gastrique), Gnarly Head Winery with Johnny Garlic’s.

(Sashimi Won Tacos), Peachy Canyon Winery with Swan Oyster Depot (Shrimp Cocktail), and Renwood Winery with Eastside West Restaurant (Achiote Braised Lamb – mango & olive salad, cheese fried plantains, mint, cilantro).

Wild boar often makes an appearance at Epicuria; this year presented by Rosenblum Cellars with Chef Joey Altman (Wild Boar Sugo over Creamy Polenta with Bellweathers’ San Andreas Sheep’s Milk Cheese) and Saddleback Cellars with Rosamunde Sausage Grill (Lamb Merguez & Wild Boar Sausage with Mango Chutney and Sauerkraut).

Additional teams include Alexander Valley Vineyards paired with Flavor Bistro (Sweet Potato Timbale flavored with a trio of cheese), Artezin Wines with Truffle Gateau, Ballentine Vineyards with Rose’s Café, Berryessa Gap Vineyards with Le P’tit Laurent, Black Stallion Winery with Black Stallion’s Estate Chef, Bonneau Wines with Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Brazin’ Cellars with Sauce (Braised Beef Short Rib Sliders), Cakebread Cellars with Cakebread Cellars’ Culinary Department (Braised Short Ribs with Daikon, Carrots and Ginger- Sesame Broth), Calstar Cellars with Cabot Creamery (The World’s Best Cheddar Cheese),Carol Shelton Wines with Pizzeria Rosso, Charter Oak Winery with Fifth Floor Restaurant, Chase Cellars with BarberQ, Cycles Gladiator Winery with Chef Marco’s Catering, Dashe Cellars with Twenty Five Lusk, D-Cubed Cellars with A-16, Dry Creek Vineyards with Maven, Four Vines with City College of San Francisco, Harney Lane Winery with Savoy Events, Hendry Wines with Kinyon! Culinary Services, LangeTwins with Straits San Francisco, M2 with Alebrijes Mexican Bistro, McCay Cellars with Wine & Roses, Mounts Family Winery with Savvy Production & Events (Curried Pork & Winter Squash), Outpost Estate with Mustard’s Grill, R&B Cellars with Soleil’s African Cuisine, Ravenswood Winery with Central Market, Robert Biale Vineyards with Alexander’s Steak House, Ridge Vineyards with Harris’ Restaurant (Harris’ Signature Steak Tartare), Rock Wall Wine Co with Le Truc, Seghesio Family Vineyards with Winery Executive Chef Peter Janiak (Seghesio Signature Ribs), St. Amant Winery with A Winechef For You, Chef Tony Lawrence (Cuban Slow Braised, Poked, Jerked, Rubbed & Spiced Pork), St. Francis Winery with Executive Chef David Bush

(Five Spice Pork Spring Rolls with Smoked Chili Hoisin), Starry Night Winery with Il Davide Restaurant (Black Truffle Porcini filled Agnolotti, White Truffle Fondue), Storybook Mountain with Rose Pistola, Terra d’Oro Winery with Taste, Three Wine Company with Starbelly, Tres Sabores with Local Mission Eatery, Troon Vineyards with Vegetarian Gourmet and Wilson Winery with Carneros Bistro.

The next Festival event is Flights, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at The Fairmont Hotel (950 Mason, San Francisco 94108) on Friday, February 1. A seated seminar-style tasting will further a detailed understanding of the uniqueness of Zinfandel. More details here.

Another event is the Zinfandel Winemakers’ Dinner, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. at The Fairmont Hotel on Friday, February 1: a glamorous evening where a walkaround tasting precedes a live auction and sumptuous dinner. The proceeds benefit ZAP’s programming, education and heritage vineyard projects. More details here.

The concluding event is the Grand Tasting, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at The Concourse on Saturday, February 2, is the world’s largest single varietal tasting, a chance to taste more than 200 different Zinfandels. For more details on participating wineries, click here.

We’re giving away a pair of tickets to the Epicuria Tasting (worth $250) and another pair for the Grand Tasting (worth $130) both to be held at The Concourse (635 8th Street at Brannan in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco 94103-4901. To win, simply like us on facebook ( and promote this link on your walls with a caption “Looking forward to a ZINtastic event with Gastronomique En Vogue!”

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