What WINE Pairs With The Election?

What WINE Pairs With Election Day?

The Story:

Four years ago, I cried when Obama was elected as president. Not because I'm a die hard democrat, but because of how far our nation had come in choosing a man of color.

Growing up, my step-grandfather was slightly racist. Although my grandmother was Mexican, he always had something to say about any race that wasn't white. He was British and grew up in the 1940s. When I came home from school in second grade and said I had a crush on a black boy, he just about died. I couldn't understand what the big deal was.  Maybe it was the fact that I was growing up in a different era or maybe it was that I just didn't see color.  Either way, it bothered me. I asked my grandmother why he didn't want me to like the little boy at school. My grandmother told me to pay my grandfather no attention and that I was allowed to like whomever I wanted.

That experience stuck with me all my life. Although I'm mostly white, being raised in lower income areas often made me the minority. I've always had friends of just about every nationality. Living and working in a city with tons of transplants from other cultures helps to blind you even further from the idea of race differences. I love people for who they are and when Obama was elected, I felt we were all coming together and saying that no matter what color you are, you had a chance at real success in life.

Today, it's no longer about race. That line has been dissolved. It's about who you want to run this country and make it a better place for all of us. A lot has happened in the last four years. I don't plan on revealing exactly who I voted for because politics can really stir up an argument, but I will say that we should all try to make an informed decision, not one based on race or party affiliation, but on who you really want in charge of running this country. Cheers to democracy!

The Pairing:

There's nothing more American than Zinfandel, and I'm not talking about white Zin, people! Zinfandel is at its best as a red wine and was one of the first grapes to be planted in California. You can find vines more than 100 years old there. And since California gets the most electoral votes of any state, helping to ultimately decide the presidency, why not choose a wine that many have cast as California's very own? Now, this is not because Zinfandel is native to California, but because large quantities of the grape were planted there and it's really at its best in the golden state.

I chose the 2006 Rosenblum Rockpile Zinfandel to pair with the elections. Although there are many styles of Zinfandel, like there are many candidates to choose from, I chose a big, classic Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma that is planted with a rare clone of old vine Zin.  What makes this vineyard so great is that the vines are planted on volcanic loam and red clays soils, perfect for the production of wine, as well as on a slope, which gives the soil great drainage.

Zinfandel has gone in and out of fashion, as has getting people out to actually vote, and has faced all types of ups and downs like that of both the front runners, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. The Rosenblum Rockpile Zin I chose offers black cherry, currant, creamy spice and a seductive dark chocolate note, as described on the bottle's label. I found it to be all that and quite jammy with a ton of spicy pepper. The wine has a lot to offer, like that of all the candidates. Rosenblum Rockpile Zinfandel is high in alcohol, clocking in at 14.8% abv. give or take, which is exactly what you'll need to ease the pain if your chosen candidate doesn't get elected.

Zinfandel also pairs perfectly with a classic American favorite, BBQ! Where there's rich and robust BBQ'd red meat, or an American favorite, juicy burgers, there should be a bottle of Zinfandel nearby to wash it down. Zinfandel also pairs well with Mexican, Indian, Pakistani and North African food, a testament to the many different citizens we have here in America that will be voting. The wine is definitely not delicate, nor is your decision on who you should vote for today, so choose wisely!