By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Before the playoffs determined Carolina would battle New England in the Super Bowl, I had selected the entree and wine choice for this Sunday's party. Actually, the menu was set once I heard the big game was in Houston.
Thinking of Texas gave me a hankering for barbecued ribs and chicken. Nothing pairs better with those dishes than zinfandel, a spicy red wine that provides delicious contrast to sweet barbecue sauce.
The grapes that go into Carmenet Zinfandel (Evangelho Vineyard, 2001) came from 110-year-old vines in California's Contra Costa County, yielding a dry, full-bodied wine ($24.99).
Aged nine months in new American barrels, Carmenet differs from many zins in that the oak complements the fruit rather than overpowers it. When I uncorked a bottle, a heady aroma of pepper and plums dominated. At first, the wine tasted tart - like blackberry. Then my mouth filled with flavors of pepper and a hint of mineral water.
Football fans can only hope the match-up between the Panthers and the Patriots proves as intense as Carmenet Zinfandel.
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