Turkey Leg Confit … Paired with a Robust Zinfandel

Pairing: Turkey Leg Confit Paired with a 2015 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 

Food: Confit is most often made with duck , usually the leg quarters. Thanksgiving this year was just the two of us (thanks to the pandemic). Last year we had made a turkey roulade which left us with a couple of uncooked legs in the freezer. Well … why not make turkey leg confit? This linked video is excellent in describing the technique for making this most satisfying dish. We made it the exact same way, but used only sage, thyme, salt and pepper for the seasoning. A delicious way to help celebrate this wonderful holiday giving thanks for all our blessings.

Turkey Leg Confit served with vegetables from our garden.

Wine: The Dry Creek Valley wine region in Sonoma County is home to some of the finest Zinfandel in California. Indeed the case could be made that this area produces the best anywhere. As we have stated elsewhere on this site, Zinfandel was the first wine we really fell in love with, and twenty years later it remains a favorite, frequently served on special occasions . For years, we have viewed Zinfandel as the quintessential American wine perfect for celebrating American holidays. However, DNA testing in the 1990’s at UC Davis ascertained that the Zinfandel grape is identical to the Italian grape, Primitivo. Hmmmm …

And, to further muddy the waters, we know that the Primitivo grape is genetically the same as the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. So, did the Zinfandel grapes in California originate in Italy or Croatia? Yet another mystery … what are the origins of the name Zinfandel? What we do know is that it is a wonderful wine, with complex fruit and spice flavors that pair beautifully with so many foods. And Ridge Vineyards produce some of the very best Zinfandel, single-vineyard wines (e.g., Lytton Springs) being their signature product.

2015 Ridge Lytton Springs – 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mourvedre

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in color. A bouquet of blackberry, black currant, and black cherry. On the palate one gets layers of earth, black currant, spice, and cedar. A pleasant deep “woodsy” taste balanced nicely with the black fruit flavors. The depth of flavors in the wine complements well the richness of the confit. Really nice.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Turkey Confit: Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Cahors (SW France), Saint-Emilion (Bordeaux), Malbec (Argentina)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Zinfandel: Roasted Duck and Lamb, Grilled Beef, Sausage, Lasagna

View the Dry Creek Valley Region:  Dry Creek Valley

A Source:  www. klwines.com

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