Easter Ham … with a Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Pairing:  Baked Ham Paired with 2012 Dutcher Crossing Proprietor’s Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)

Food:  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that our family is big on traditions when it comes to food. So, every Easter, we celebrate the day with friends and the traditional Easter meal of our family … baked ham, pineapple, popovers, potatoes gratin Dauphinois, asparagus, and lemon meringue pie. Served … always … with Zinfandel. Each person has a favorite part of this holiday meal … some say it’s the ham centerpiece with the mustard and brown sugar-crusted topping … others can’t get enough of the over-the-top gratin Dauphinois with it’s thinly-sliced potatoes baked in a cream, butter, and Gruyère cheese sauce. For me, though, it wouldn’t be Easter without  our giant, puffed up 6-inch popovers. My … oh my!

Easter Dinner with Zin

Wine:  Although Pinot Noir is the most widely recognized pairing for baked ham, we have found that the slight sweetness and spicy flavors of Zinfandel is a perfect foil to the salty ham with its mustard/ brown sugar topping. Although Zinfandel traces its origins back to Croatia and is the same grape used to make Primitivo wine in Italy, the vast majority of Zinfandel in the world today is grown in California. And in California, many are convinced that the best Zinfandel comes from the Sonoma region. Our favorite Zinfandel  is produced in the beautiful Dry Creek Valley area of Sonoma. This Zinfandel made by Dutcher Crossing is blended with a bit (13%) of Petite Sirah.

Dutcher Crossing Zin 2012

Tasting Notes: One really gets the spices of mace, allspice and vanilla notes on both the nose and the palate. The flavors of blackberry jam and leather also emerge along with some earthiness resulting from the inclusion of a little Petite Sirah in the blend. And there’s just enough fine tannins to result in good balance in the wine so as not to be too “fruity”. This is yet another example of a wine that goes well with several elements of the meal … the salty/ sweet ham, the cheesy potatoes and the buttery popovers in particular. Even, surprisingly, the pineapple soaked in kirschwasser.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Baked Ham:  Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Riesling, Rose (Dry), Sparkling Wine

Other Food That Pairs Well with Zinfandel:  Barbecued Meats and Chicken, Cheeseburgers (with Blue Cheese), Duck, Lamb, Mushrooms, Pizza, Turkey

Read About:  http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wine-topics/wine-educational-questions/grapes-for-wine-making-flavor-characteristics-explained/zinfandel-wine-grapes-flavor-character-history/

A Source:  http://www.dutchercrossingwinery.com

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