The Best Recipes to Pair with Zinfandel

Zinfandel goes with just about everything Americans love! It pairs with all the American classics: ribs, pizzas, burgers, chili, meatloaf, roasted meats, you name it.

Juicy Lucy Burgers

Juicy Lucy Burgers | Photo by KGora

Zin’s a California classic. Zinfandel vines were introduced into California back in the mid-1800s. For a classic California experience, try Zin with a grilled burger topped with Monterey Jack cheese! It’s also a good match with ethnic cuisines, particularly moderately spicy Mexican meat dishes and tandoori chicken or lamb. Here are five can’t-fail recipes:

When picking out a Zinfandel to pair with dinner, take a peek at the wine’s alcohol level. Too much alcohol can sometimes make a wine less food friendly, particularly when paired with spicy foods. Some Zinfandels can approach almost fortified-wine levels of alcohol. So for matching Zin with food, look for wines that are below 14.5 percent alcohol. Or go for broke, compare a big 15.5-percent Zinfandel with dinner against a lower-alcohol version and see what you think. You might prefer the big guns.

Indian Tadoori Chicken

Indian Tadoori Chicken | Photo by Montana

Related: The 15 Best Recipes To Pair With Merlot

Zinfandel-Friendly Recipe Collections:

Here are collections of recipes that make beautiful partners for Zinfandel. You’ll notice lots of summer grilling options. If it’s scorching hot outside, and you think full-bodied red wines are just too warm for your form, give this trick a try — it gets reds ready for summer sipping.

Pizza On The Grill I

Pizza On The Grill I | Photo by Nanda

Jennifer's Beef Stew

Jennifer’s Beef Stew | Photo by naples 34102

Get the recipe for Grilled Korean-Style Beef Short Ribs

Want to try Zinfandel with an Italian accent? Look for wines from Italy, typically Apulia, labelled Primitivo, which is Zinfandel’s Old World twin. They’re genetically the same. And if you search very hard, you might also find Zinfandel labelled under its original name — Tribidrag — in wines hailing from Zin’s original birthplace, Croatia. Now I’m no marketing genius, but with grape names that suggest “primitive” and “drag,” it’s not difficult to see why Californians preferred the word Zinfandel.

A Word on White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is actually a white wine made from red Zinfandel grapes. Incidentally, the juice of all wine grapes runs off the press “white.” Red wines get their color by spending time soaking with their pigment-giving skins. The juice that makes White Zinfandel has simply been removed from the skins directly after the grapes were pressed.

White Zinfandel-friendly Recipe Collections: