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BRINGING THE RHÔNE TO THE TABLE
Zaca Mesa Wines Are Right At Home With A Variety Of Cuisines
(Los Olivos, California) December 3, 2009—It’s no secret that wine enhances the pleasures of food, but many people don’t realize how exceptionally well Rhône-style wines complement their favorite dishes. As a leading producer of estate-grown Rhône varietal wines and a longtime Rhône pioneer in Santa Barbara County, Zaca Mesa Winery prides itself on crafting top-shelf wines that are impeccably balanced, terroir-driven, and comfortable among myriad cuisines.
Why are Rhône wines so well-adapted to every menu? We owe part of our thanks to the Rhône Valley’s tradition of blending, as well as a wide range of varietals with which to experiment. For example, the Zaca Mesa ‘06 Z Cuvee is a blend of 4 varietals – 59% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre , 15% Syrah, and the rest Cinsault – each with a different profile that pairs well with a different protein (e.g. gamey Mourvèdre and Cinsault are traditional matches for lamb, full Grenache is lovely paired with beef, and smoky Syrah is perfect with anything off the grill). Thus one bottle of Z Cuvee presents a feast of options for sumptuous dining and sipping.
Even varietal wines like the Zaca Mesa ’06 Syrah are versatile in their own right, accompanying anything from lamb kefta to smoked cheeses to mushroom lasagna. The critical component to Rhône varietals’ food-friendliness is acidity, which cuts through the properties of fat, salt, and smokiness (among others) to clean the palate and invites us to take another bite.
Zaca Mesa Winery pays particular attention to the acidity of Viognier, to which 37 acres of its vineyards are dedicated. This white Rhône varietal can fall flat and flabby when poorly made, but in the capable hands of winemaker Eric Mohseni, the Zaca Mesa ’08 Viognier is a refreshing, exotic mélange of tropical fruits, honeysuckle and a hint of minerality especially suited to Asian cuisine. Thai chicken, raw oysters, ahi tuna and Szechuan prawns all make delightful pairings.
The Zaca Mesa Winery website provides a treasure of ideas for Rhône-lovers, presenting a “recipe of the month” to correspond to a featured Zaca Mesa wine. In addition, the website gives hints on how to pair wine with food for that dinner party you’d like to host, or for a fun, casual night of tasting through Zaca Mesa wines with hors d’oeuvres and friends. For all of this and more, visit www.zacamesa.com.
Zaca Mesa Winery, located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California, is dedicated to estate-grown and bottled Rhône varietal wines. Since 1972, Zaca Mesa has hand-crafted its wines with character and integrity from grapes sustainably-grown in their vineyards, expressing their distinctive terroir. For more information about Zaca Mesa Winery call (805) 688-9339, fax (805) 688-8796, or visit www.zacamesa.com. Zaca Mesa Winery is located at 6905 Foxen Canyon Rd., Los Olivos, CA 93441.
Zaca Mesa 2006 Z Cuvee, Estate Grown and Bottled, Santa Ynez Valley
$20.00 Suggested Retail Price, 8,031 Cases Produced
Zaca Mesa 2006 Syrah, Estate Grown and Bottled, Santa Ynez Valley
$23.00 Suggested Retail Price, ? Cases Produced
Zaca Mesa 2008 Viognier, Estate Grown and Bottled, Santa Ynez Valley
$20.00 Suggested Retail Price, 3,810 Cases Produced
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