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  • The Chopping Blog

Zinfandel + Meat = A Pairing You Can't Pass Up

Posted by Josh on Dec 26, 2016
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Let me tell you a little story about a bottle from Sonoma County. It was a fine bottle, made of the best type of glass… the kind you put alcohol in. It shone with promise and purpose, excited about what one day might fill it and where it might go. But not all young bottles are lucky, many find themselves accidentally smashed, or destined for a life of shame in brown paper bags, or filled with Chardonnay. This one bottle, however, found its way to Teira’s Woods Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley and filled with some of the best stuff this side of my budget.

Tiera Welcome to The Chopping Block’s shelf Teira’s 2013 Zinfandel! I don’t pretend to be a wine expert, and I barely know enough buzzwords to sound pretentious at parties, but I know what I like. This Zin (industry term) is just short of dry but is so fruit forward that it will almost fool you into thinking it’s sweeter than it is. Don’t know what I mean? Basically this wine doesn't taste like grape juice, but it smells like it, so it really makes everyone happy.  

According to the winemaker’s website, they blend just a bit of Petite Sirah grapes into the Zinfandel to provide a little more body to the wine. Clever move Teira, clever move. I don’t actually understand what that means either but I do know that this wine isn’t very tannic at all which makes it super easy to drink on its own, which is great if you spent the money you were gonna spend on a pizza on a bottle of wine. Tannin is that bitter taste you get from the skin of fruits, and usually you need to pair it with food to really enjoy it. Not to say this Zin doesn’t pair well with food, I had it just the other night with a seared pork loin and it held up perfectly. This wine has enough flavor and texture to pair great with any savory meat dishes and that’s exactly how I would recommend it.  

Pepper Mustard Seared Pork Loin

1 Pork Loin

2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil 

Mustard Pork Rub

4 Tablespoons Mustard Powder

1 1/2 Tablespoons ground black pepper (or my personal favorite, Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper from The Savory Spice Store located just a couple doors down from The Chopping Block’s Lincoln Square location. Seriously, it’s like campfire flavor in a jar.)

1 Tablespoon rosemary

2 Tablespoon sea salt 

Pro tip: I like to score the outside of my pork loin with cross hatching cuts so I can rub more spices into the meat and they stay better through the searing process. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cover the loin liberally with Mustard Pork Rub.
  3. Sear pork loin in hot cast iron or stainless steel pan coated in grapeseed oil for about 4-5 mins per side. I usually let the meat do the talking and turn it once I can tell the meat is no longer sticking to the pan and a nice golden crust has formed. I try to sear my pork loin on all four sides to get the most flavor. 
  4. Place seared loin on baking sheet with a wire rack to elevate it and allow airflow on all sides.
  5. Bake until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (approximately one hour).
  6. Let sit for 10 minutess before slicing and pair with Teira’s 2013 Zinfandel.

Come out and enjoy one of the newest additions to The Chopping Block’s wine collection. We have Happy Hours at both locations each week where we feature two fine wines for just $7/glass.

  • Merchandise Mart Tuesdays 4pm-6pm
  • Lincoln Square Thursdays 5pm-7pm 

To learn even more about wine and food pairings and sounding snooty around company, download our Wine and Food Pairing Guide.

Wine & Food Pairing Guide


Topics: Wine, Wine & Spirits, zinfandel

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