Well, we’re getting into some winter weather, at least around these parts. While I don’t expect it to last too long, I, for one, relish these cold, crisp days, though I do look for ways to liven them up a bit. I’ll give you one guess how.
That’s right, food and wine, or wine and food, depending on whether you’re coming or going. Last Friday we were sitting around the office, tasting some Zinfandel, as we are wont to do on a Friday, when we came across a few wonderful wines.
As many of you probably already know, I love a good Zin, and one of the ones we were trying really rang my bell, so the next challenge, of course, was pairing it with a meal.
What to expect: ZinfandelZinfandel is considered America's own great indigenous grape, even though it's origins lie on the Adriatic coast. Planted throughout California, and in to the Pacific Northwest, Zinfandel is at it's best in warm regions with cooler temperatures during harvest. The wines can range from off-dry Roses (the ubiquitous White Zinfandel) to light bistro styled wines, big, rich powerful wines and even luscious dessert bottling. The flavors range from plummy to raspberry, though deep blackberry fruit and brambly spice tones are most common.
Zinfandel can be tricky to pair with food; it can be intensely fruity and high in alcohol, a delicate balance that is easily disturbed. My favorite wine of the day however was pretty well balanced and had just enough spicy oak to add an additional dimension to the wine without totally dominating it. I knew exactly what the wine needed, a spicy, slightly smoky and full flavored seductress of a pork dish, and the chorizo scented rice and black eyed peas side dish that was it’s perfect partner!
And thus my weekend’s highlight was preordained. I was going to whip up some Magical Marinated Pork Tenderloin with an earthy side dish of Heavenly Rice and Peas.
These two recipes work wonderfully together, and the leftover rice and beans is one of my favorite leftover surprises! It actually is great with eggs for breakfast so don’t be afraid of making too much! And if you’re wondering whether my recent Caribbean vacation had anything to do with these recipes, let me just Oh Yeah. What better way to celebrate a wonderful winters day than by introducing some Sunny spice!