Toast Hispanic Heritage Month With a Rancho Zabaco(R) Zinfandel

Toast Hispanic Heritage Month With a Rancho Zabaco(R) Zinfandel


HEALDSBURG, Calif., Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — An estimated 45.5 million Hispanic U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and Spanish-speaking Central America, South America and the Caribbean will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this September 15 through October 15, and premium Zinfandel producer Rancho Zabaco is thrilled to pay tribute to a culture rich in culinary traditions with several festive Zinfandels that pair perfectly with this month’s favorite foods. Reasonably priced and particularly delicious with Latin and Mexican cuisine, the newly released 2006 Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel makes a wonderful wine choice for everything from family dinners to football parties.

From the winery’s name to its iconic bull and matador label image, the Rancho Zabaco brand proudly draws inspiration from California’s Hispanic roots, both literally and figuratively. Named after “Tzabaco Rancho,” one of the oldest Mexican land grants in California dating back to the 1840s, Rancho Zabaco wines are grounded in the history of a winegrowing region whose soils now produce some of the world’s most remarkably consistent, luscious and full-bodied red Zinfandels. Perhaps best known for its colorful mixture of missions, haciendas and ranches in the 1800s, today the area is part of the renowned Sonoma County Zinfandel region known as Dry Creek Valley, affectionately called the “Zin Zone” by wine experts.

As the fastest growing minority group in America, Hispanics have an increasingly important and exciting influence on the food and wine industries in the U.S. In fact, according to Wine Market Council, the Hispanic community has emerged as one of the leading wine consumer groups, with wine consumption among Hispanics up an impressive 31 percent over the last few years. (Source: Wine Market Council 2006 Consumer Tracking Study)

Rancho Zabaco winemaker Eric Cinnamon commented, “With Hispanic cuisine placing such importance on wonderfully seasoned foods and vibrant flavors, it is extremely exciting to see a growing interest in wine among Hispanics, too. Zinfandel in particular makes a phenomenal wine pairing with authentic Latin and Mexican flavors because of its round tannins and rich, luscious fruit. I love it with slightly spicy foods like red chiles or smoky-sweet chipotle, grilled meats like carne asada and carnitas and almost any Mexican dish you can think of.”

This month, Cinnamon recommends pairing the bold, spicy flavors prominent in many traditional Hispanic dishes with a robust red Zinfandel, such as the Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Valley Reserve ($24). Made with grapes from California’s historic Dry Creek Valley (home to the former “Tzabaco Rancho”), it is a delicious example of Zinfandel’s spicy, sophisticated side.

For a lighter, more fruit-forward Zinfandel, Cinnamon suggests the new 2006 Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines ($18), now available at retail stores nationally. Try it with festive dishes like the homemade corn tamales below.

Fiesta Corn Tamales

Makes 30

1/2 pound butter, cold

1 quart dry jack cheese, grated

6 cups fresh corn kernels

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 pound shortening

2 tablespoons kosher salt

3 pounds freshly-made masa, purchased from your local store

2 tablespoons cumin, ground

Puree the corn kernels until they are well blended. Mix the butter and shortening until creamy. Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Place 1/4 cup of the tamale mix in a corn husk and fold the sides over to cover and seal. Repeat until all husks are full. Place in a steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam for 1 hour, or until the tamale mix no longer sticks to the corn husk. Serve warm and enjoy with a glass of Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel.

Recipe reprinted with permission (C) Chef Bruce Riezenman of Park Avenue Catering, Sonoma, CA

California Table Wine, (C)2008 Rancho Zabaco Winery, Healdsburg, CA. All rights reserved.

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Toast Hispanic Heritage Month With a Rancho Zabaco(R) Zinfandel