On January 31 through February 2, 2013, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers Festival (ZAP) celebrated its twenty-second event. With four events through the three-day Zinfandel celebration, people were able to enjoy beautiful Zinfandel wines and great food. The main events are the opening and closing events Epicuria, Thursday night, and the Grand Tasting, Saturday afternoon.
Epicuria: Food & Zin Pairings opened the celebration on Thursday night at The Concourse at 8th and Brannan, a vibrant San Francisco neighborhood. The event offered about 1,200 attendees the opportunity to try their favorite grape variety with fabulous food pairings. Fifty restaurants paired with fifty wineries to bring Zinfandel fans a unique epicurean experience. Through out the event people enjoyed pairing like Bonneau Wines 2008 Dry Creek Valley Zin with Ruth’s Chris Stake House cooked to perfection lamb lollipops; Frank Family Vineyards 2010 Napa Valley Zin with Chef Tyler Stone’s molecular wine ice cream; Hendry Wines 2010 Mike and Molly Napa Valley Zin with Kinyon! Culinary Services’ delicious wild mushroom soup and grilled cheese sandwiches; Terra d’Oro Winery 2010 Amador County Deaver Vineyard 125-year Old Vine Zin with a sinful smoked duck, apple compote and fennel crepe; and Outpost Wines 2011 Howell Mountain Barrel Sample Zin with Mustards Grill’s great Mongolian pork sliders. These are only few examples of the great offerings at the event. Just an idea of why you shouldn’t miss this event next year. To see all the pairings visit the ZAP festival website.
Epicuria also included the ZinKitchen, with Randy Caparaso moderating presentations by Peter Janiak (Executive Chef, Seghesio Family Vineyards), Chefs Justin Bruckert and A.J. Schumaker and owner Steve Ledson (Centre du Vin at The Ledson Hotel), Chef Joey Altman (Executive Chef, Rosenblum Cellars), John Kane (winemaker, Rosenblum Cellars), Marc Zimmerman (Executive Chef, Alexander’s Teak) and Maxwell Klassen (sommelier, Alexander’s Steak). ZinKitchen cooking demonstrations ran throughout the event and audience was able to enjoy the pairings while learning about how to cook them.
ZAP closing and main event was the Grand Tasting at The Concourse Saturday afternoon. Approximately 8,000 attendees were able to enjoy over 500 different Zinfandel wines from 204 wineries in the world’s largest Zinfandel tasting, where you can enjoy hundreds of barrel samples, new releases and premier Zinfandel wines. The Concourse is the perfect venue to hold an event of such size. More than wine tasting the event held a silent auction supporting ZAP’s programing, education and research. Also, new this year the Terroir Tasting Area, showcased the Zinfandel growing regions of Amador County, Lodi, Dry Creek Valley, Mendocino, Lake, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Sonoma County and Sierra Fotthills. This new area offered the opportunity to explore regional taste profiles side-by-side.
Though the amount of wine you can try is overwhelming, this is in an event in which pays to plan ahead and go with and idea of what you are looking for. Whether you are looking for wines to pair certain style of food or if you want to try late harvest Zins, just make sure you leave room for few surprise wines along the way.
No doubt ZAP Festival is one of the highlights of wine tasting events in San Francisco and a not to miss event if you are a wine enthusiast and a Zinfandel fan.