We are up to Day 3 of our 12 Days of Wine 2021 Celebration!
Today for the first time this season we dip into red wine, beginning with Old Vine Zin from California!
Selby Winery 2017 Sonoma Country Zinfandel, Old Vines
This 2017 Selby Old Vine Zin comes from 60-116-year-old vines. (I did say Old Vine right?!). We enjoyed this when we tasted it, and then got a rousing endorsement for this wine from some club members we met on the patio.
What does it taste like?
The nose has blackberries, dark cherries, and jam with subtle notes of dill. I got eucalyptus, cedar, and forest floor on the nose, a little pomegranate, and then a bit of sweet gherkin. There are also candied fruit notes that reminded me of black cherry tootsie pops. The wine is smooth and approachable with tannins that hit and smooth and meld into mouthwatering blackberry.
This wine is 15.5% abv. We tend to be pretty sensitive to high alcohol and we would not have guessed it would be this high. It is very well balanced.
You will be sad to know that this particular vintage is sold out, but…The 2018 is available! Made from hillside fruit from old vines in Alexander, Russian River, and Dry Creek Valleys, she ages it for 16 months in French and American oak. (you can find the 2018 vintage here SRP $33.)
Grilled Zucchini topped with Candied Bacon, Fresh Blackberry, Cracked Black Pepper, and Dill
The notes of blackberry in this wine, meant that I was bound to top with with one! The Eucalyptus and greener notes in the wine led to the zucchini, grilled to add smoke and char that are subtle notes in the wine also.
The candied bacon? Well in my opinion that will do well with many red wines, but with Zin being an especially good BBQ wine, I thought it would be perfect here.
Now about the dill on the top. I remember when I tasted this at her tasting room getting a subtle dill note so that was our topper.
It’s easy to put together and if you make too much candied bacon…well, I’m sure it won’t go to waste.
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and top with a baking rack. I cut my bacon strips in half, laid them on the rack, sprinkled them with brown sugar and a bit of freshly cracked black pepper.
The recipe is below.
#MerlotMe in 2020 brought us a bottle of Selby Merlot, which you can read about Celebrating Merlot Month with a Selby Merlot from Sonoma County.
When we found ourselves traveling through Sonoma this year we reached out and Susie Selby was kind enough to make some time for an interview with us in her beautiful downtown Healdsburg tasting room. You can read a little more about that here. Monterey to Healdsburg and beyond with a stop at Selby Wines
Susie founded Selby Winery with her father Dr. David K. Selby in 1994. Her father was a world-renowned spine surgeon who traveled internationally and spent quite a bit of time in Europe where he fell in love with these old-world wines. When her father unexpectedly passed in 1997, Susie took the reins as owner and winemaker.
Her tasting room is the oldest in downtown Healdsburg located just off the square, with wisteria vines embellishing the entrance.
She sources from vineyards throughout Sonoma, from growers that she has been working with for a while.
The variety of wines she makes? Well, she’s not one to limit herself! I count 9 different varieties currently available on her site. There is something for everyone.
Her wines have been served to 4 different administrations in the White House. That’s something for a small winery!
The perfect bite to pair with a delicious Sonoma Zinfandel
- Olive Oil
- brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut your bacon slices in half
- line a cookie sheet with foil
- top with a metal rack (like you use to cool cookies)
- Lay out your bacon strips on top
- spread 1 tsp of brown sugar over each bacon strip
- grind fresh black pepper on top
- bake for about 20 minutes
- allow the bacon to cook and cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- slice the zucchini into ovals about 1/4 inch thick
- toss the zucchini in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- grill on a grill pan for 3 to 4 minutes per side
- place the grilled zucchini slice on the bottom of the spoon
- top with the candied bacon, a fresh blackberry, and a sprig of fresh dill.
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.