questions from a newbie... - Printable Version

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- Haluk - 09-30-1999 09:33 AM

Hi everyone...

I just discovered this board and have been reading it the past few days. There is so much good information here, I'm very glad I found it...

I know nothing about wine and too much about beer and I'd like to lean over to the grapes from the grains...

I'm going to a pasta dinner, with homemade tomato sauce, salad, garlic know, the whole enchilada...well, maybe the whole antipasto, whatever...

The host keeps hinting on liking White Zin the best, and I know from reading some of the past posts, that it's not the best for pasta with tomato sauce, I guess she knows less then me about wine...oh well...I plan to get White Zin anyway...

So, which brand of White Zin would you all recommend for that dinner? Something in the $10-20 range...also, there will be four people eating all together, so should I get two bottles?

They'll be in the fridge for about 24hrs. and taken out as I drive over there, giving them about 35min to warm up a that enough time? will they still be too cold or maybe too warm?

As a separate question, what are your opinions on the less expensive brands (those under $10)?
I know Napa Ridge, Meridian, Marietta are recommended for good 'QPR'...but I mostly remember seeing Sutter Home, Berringer, Gallo, R.Mondavi in the stores...

Thanks in advance...sorry for all the questions...


- Kari - 09-30-1999 10:12 PM

I am not a wine expert, however I learned to cook (and eat) Italian food from real Italian imigrants. What Mr.A did, when he had his dinner parties (usually 20 people) was serve a different wine with each course. Also being experts at graciousness, he never assumed that the "appropriate wine" was the preferred wine. Since none of you are experts and are just good friends enjoying each others company- perhaps you should endulge your gracious hostess by buying a zin. Alternatively, you could buy a red wine for the main course in addition to the zin and turn the dinner into a wine tasting event as well. Zin is great with a salad, and true italian style would serve the salad seperately anyway. You could even go all out and get a dessert wine for the final salute! I personally don't like red wine- so I can't offer a good opinion on one, however if you go with the three bottle option, you could stay on the inexpensive side and get Beringer zin- which I personally like better than sutter home. Have great fun!

- Randy Caparoso - 10-02-1999 12:35 AM

Don't worry about White Zinfandel needing time to "warm up." Generally speaking, the colder the better. In fact, if you yourself do not like your wine too sweet, serving it icy cold helps cut down on the sweetness.

If your host prefers White Zinfandel, not much you can do but deliver one. No, it's not the best wine for pasta, but it's a pretty decent one. You'd never see me turn it down if it's the only thing around.

You also have the option of getting a White Zin that's not so sweet. De Loach Vineyards in the Russian River region of Sonoma, for instance, makes their's just off-dry, retaining a good, zesty natural acidity on top of fresh watermelony fruitiness.
Finally, if it's within your sense of propriety, might consider a dry pink wine made from Pinot Noir; such as Robert Sinskey's Vin Gris of Pinot Noir or Toad Hollow Pinot Noir Rose. These wines would have the color, plus decent acidity, but not the sweetness.

And finally, finally: one could certainly alter the tomato sauce to introduce more of a sense of sweetness to balance out the fruitiness in the wine. This, you would do with the introduction of sun dried tomato, or else a generous portion of sweet onion or carrot. Heck, use a little White Zin in replacement with half the water you might use, and even just a judicious dose of sugar. You see, when it comes to matching wine with food it is never a lost cost if you put your mind and wherewithal to it.