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Appetizers to serve with Zinfandel?

I'm having a wine tasting party and we will be tasting Zinfandel. Any suggestions on what I should serve for appetizers?

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  1. Blue cheese (or its different cousins) would go very well with a Zin.

    4 Replies
    1. re: olasek

      I think a variety of cheese would work not just blue. I'm planning a large wine and cheese tasting with several zins and other varieties. I plan on a smoked mozzarella as one of the suggested cheeses for the Zins

      1. re: tastelikechicken

        I've found that "dry-aged jack" goes well with Zins. Many/most of the hard cheeses go well, too.

        You might want to think about something along the lines of short-ribs on toast points. The usual flavors and texture of many preps of short-ribs go nicely with Zins.


      2. re: olasek

        Blue cheese with Zin.

        Ugh, ack, ptui.

        I mean, I would disagree.

      3. Anything grilled especially barbecued ribs or lamb chop lollipops with a chevre garnish. I also like grilled shrimp wrapped in pancetta with a spicy bbq sauce to dip. Zin is a great appetizer wine with full flavored appetizers. Don't be bashful with the pepper mill.

        1. I like to grill spicy sausages and cut them into bit sized pieces to go with several cheeses.

          1. As for cheeses: Aged Cheddars (6 years and older), Chevre, roquefort, provolone val padana, and most especially, Parmesan Reggiano.

            Interestingly, a great zinfandel is one of the most interesting red wines "on it's own", IMO, but it has many great food / appetizer matches including:

            rich barbecues, grilled or roasted beef, turkey, pork.... it's a great match for "fast" foods like hamburgers and non-specific "pizza"...

            Get creative and serve grilled rib-eye steakburgers with parmesan shavings and a dollop of your favorite bbq sauce, for example... sublime with a great zin...

            Also, zinfandel handles outlier spices as well or better than most reds, IMO... which helps it match cuisines like moroccan that might not be a classic "red wine" match... whenever I see a classic red-wine ingredient (red meat for example), with unusual spices/seasonings, zinfandel is often a good bet...

            hope this helps, please report back on your tasting notes,.

            1. Tonight's my tasting. I expect ten tasters. I'll report back on how it went!

              1 Reply
              1. re: murano

                Zins also marry very well with most Mexican food.

              2. I have made roasted figs with goat cheese & balsamic reduction several times with zin that is scrumptious and simple.
                Depending on what kind of zin (big jammy vs early and spicy) strong flavors and pungent cheeses go well, as does chocolate and salty hams.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Vinquire

                  That fig app goes well served on an endive leaf with spicy candied pecans

                  1. re: Vinquire

                    I do that dish, too, but add prosciutto wrapped around the figs. And i like it a lot with zin.

                  2. Buddy of mine grinds chicken livers with capers and then sautees in butter and olive oil and serves on baguette slice. Strong and rich.

                    1. If a prepared cooked dish is ok, sate with chicken of pork works well with the sate peanut sauce and the zins.