Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WBW #60: I Have Zinned

First of all, many thanks to my Wine Blogging Conference '09 roomie, Megan Riley Kenney of Wannabe Wino Wine Blog for hosting the 60th edition and the 5th Birthday of Wine Blogging Wednesday! This is a milestone! And last but not least, many thanks to Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours for proposing the idea of this monthly virtual wine tasting tradition back in the summer of 2004.

This month Megan would like the world of wine bloggers to grab our favorite Zinfandel and pair it with BBQ and/or grilled foods in honor of the grilling season. Hey, I can do that! In fact, I can even give you a recipe for one of my favorite grilled foods.

If you are familiar with the wines of Walla Walla, you will know there is not a lot of Zinfandel grown or produced in the valley, let alone in Washington State. However, Forgeron Cellars has been producing the real thing (not the "white" stuff) since 2001. I refer to it as the "Original Walla Walla Zin." Forgeron Cellars Zinfandel has been an easy sell-out for the winery and I have owned every vintage. They age very well and so smooth and juicy on the palate. In fact, just Sunday evening I opened up a 2002 I had been hoarding and got a little weepy last night when I reached the end of the bottle. It was that good.

Marie-Eve Gilla, Forgeron Cellars winemaker says: "The 2005 vintage is a combination of three distinct vineyard sites, each chosen for the unique flavors and aromas they bring to the wine. Alder Ridge Vineyard is in the Horse Heaven Hills along the Columbia River and brings rich cherry jam characteristics to the wine. Clifton Vineyard is on the Wahluke Slope near Mattawa. A warmer site chosen for the white pepper and spice qualities in the fruit and the third vineyard is Les Collines in the Walla Walla Valley, which adds bold flavors and perfume to the blend."

The nose reminds me of a cherry cobbler. It is a juicy wine on the palate and leaves just a hint of spice that doesn't overtake the food pairing. I can't think of a better wine to pair with one of my favorite grilled recipes - Bulgogi.

Korean 101: "Bul" is the Korean word for "fire", and "gogi" is "meat" = "Fire Meat." Bulgogi is one of Korea's most popular beef dishes and I love using this somewhat traditional marinade for flank steak. I use the term "somewhat traditional" as by accident one day I found I didn't have any mirrin (sweet sake) and used red wine instead. I have been happy with the recipe ever since! Bulgogi is traditionally grilled, but broiling or pan-cooking is common as well. Spring onions, chopped green peppers and other vegetables can also be marinated and grilled at the same time.

• 1 pound thinly sliced steak or sometimes will use one whole flank steak that has been tenderized (by hand) well and marinated whole. Then it is sliced after grilling. Also, think beef short ribs for this marinade. It's that versatile!

• 5 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 5 tbsp red wine (or more) - use the red wine you are drinking or plan on pairing with meal. And don't forget to pour a glass or two for yourself!
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

• 1 cup green onions (sliced lenghwise) and/or other vegetables for grilling (optional).

Mix all ingredients except vegetables. Add meat to marinade and marinate in refrigerator over night or at least 2 hours. Add optional vegetables to the marinade at any time. Grill over medium high heat until meat is just short of desired completion. Serve with rice or sometimes I like to make a traditional (and simple) "Hawaiian Lunch Truck Macaroni Salad" (elbow mac, shredded raw carrot and mayo) to serve on the side.

Thanks again Megan. This was a fun!

4 comments:

Sonadora said...

Excellent! I'm always excited to learn about Zin from different areas...it is one of my favorite grapes after all! Glad you had a good one and thanks for the yummy recipe!

Joe said...

I'll let you know how the Bulgogi turns out...I'm gonna have to try it. Sounds great!

Michele said...

I hope you read this!!! I cannot get my e-mails to make it to you they keep coming back. So e-mail me.. Your site is so wonderful..
Michele

Catie said...

Michele, but...I don't have your email. If you read this catie@wallawallawinewoman.com or wildwallawallawinewoman@yahoo.com.

And thanks! Good hearing from you.