Category Archives: zinfandel

Rigatoni with Kale, Spicy Sausage and a Zinfandel Syrah Blend

Rigatoni with Kale and Sausage, paired with Renwood Zinfandel blend.
This is a variation on the sausage and Zinfandel theme I blogged about the other day. I had gotten two large Andouille sausages from D’Artagnan, and only needed one for that pasta with sausage and collard greens. So the other night I used the other one to make Rigatoni with Kale and Sausage. I used feta instead of the cheese blend in the original recipe, and that worked great. There was a sample box of wines from Renwood Winery in the cellar waiting to be opened. Knowing they specialize in zin, last night seemed like the perfect time to crack one open to pair with the spicy sausage in the pasta dish.

My friends from Renwood had sent a variety of their wines to try. We were getting going on this dinner late after another Little League baseball game, so I didn’t have time to do much research to determine which bottle to open first. 4 are straight zins, but I decided to go for one with Syrah in the blend. We opened the 2011 Renwood Clarion Red Wine, a blend of Zinfandel and Syrah from California’s Amador County. We were very pleased with the selection! I got a touch of cinnamon along with blackberry and pepper tasting this one, and it has a nice smooth finish. Enough spice to match well with the sausage. I look forward to trying the other bottles in the box–stay tuned for details!

2011 Renwood Clarion red wine blend with rigatoni and sausage.

Before signing off, I should mention one other thing about Renwood. They are having a BBQ sauce making competition, with the winner getting an all expenses paid trip for two to Renwood Winery for the Amador Vintners’ Big Crush event in October. Entries must be submitted by August 30. I haven’t made my own BBQ sauce before, but this might give me reason to try! It’s been way too long since I’ve been to California wine country, and I’d love to get back there. I probably shouldn’t share the link to the contest info as that might increase my competition. But I’m a nice guy so I’ll share it anyway–here you go!

Full disclosure: I received this wine as a courtesy sample from Renwood. As always, free samples don’t influence the opinions expressed or guarantee mention here on this blog.

2011 Renwood Clarion Red Wine blend

Pasta with Spicy Sausage, Collard Greens and a Zinfandel

Ca' Momi ZinfandelI serve some combination of pasta, sausage and greens quite a bit. It’s a nice way to get healthy greens in our diet as part of an easy main course. A modest amount of sausage can provide nice flavor to pasta dish. Recently I essentially followed this recipe for pasta with sausage and collard greens with two changes. The original recipe used chicken sausage, a nice healthy option. The other night I used a D’Artagnan Andouille Sausage, which I love to use for a good flavor burst in dishes like this as well as kale soup. I switched up the pasta shape too, using fusilli this time.

Pairings Wine and Food was sampling a few moderately priced zinfandels this week, and I brought home the one I liked best from the lineup: the 2012 Ca’ Momi Napa Valley Zinfandel. I’m not sure how they manage to pull off producing a Napa zin that I was able to get for $10, but I don’t want to ask too many questions lest this deal disappear! Sampling the zin is what led me to pick up the D’Artagnan sausage, thinking the spice element in the zin would match up nicely with the kick provided by the sausage. I wasn’t disappointed! This zin has good jammy fruit along with some peppery spice and a nice long finish. I definitely recommend repeating this pairing at home. Or you might want to try this zin matched up with some spicy BBQ from your grill.

pasta with  sausage and collards pairing with a zinfandel.Ca' Momi Zinfandel