Lunch and a killer bottle of Zin….

We met a friend today in Santa Rosa for a nice lunch at one of our favorite pizza joints, Rosso. This place is all about gourmet pizza and pasta with local wines and ingredients. Wednesday is meatball day, I decided to try their Goomba pizza….

A pizza made with spaghetti and meatballs. I know, I know it sounds strange. I think this is my 3rd or 4th time visiting Rosso and I’ve looked at this pizza every time, but never ordered it. I’m kicking myself for not discovering it sooner. If you go, try it!

It’s wine country, so ordering a bottle to go with lunch is totally normal, right? Well, we did…

Zin and pizza – a perfect match! This Zinfandel comes from the cooler climate Russian River Valley growing area of  Sonoma County. Russian River is mostly known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production, but there are some great pockets of Zinfandel too. And this Porter-Bass RRV Zinfandel is a great example of what can be accomplished from that region.

Cooler weather with Zinfandel usually means the finished product will be less jammy and a little lower in alcohol, although this one at 15.4% is no light-weight. The wine is packed with black raspberry, candy apple, cranberry (or some other tart-ish fruit I couldn’t quite place), vanilla and a nice spicy / black pepper finish. But what really got me going was the texture of this wine. Sometimes Zinfandels can fall apart in the mouth, but this one had the velvety texture I look for in a well made wine.

The wineries website didn’t show this one currently available, but a quick search shows there are some out in the marketplace for around $22-24. We paid $35 at Rosso and I would pay it again in a heartbeat. I’d also love to taste the other offerings from this winery. I think I’ll have to schedule a visit.

My one bone to pick with Rosso is the same one I’ve had since we first went: They don’t offer any dessert. My palette needs a little something sweet after a meal, so usually a separate stop is required. It won’t, however, keep me from returning. And that’s their secret. What they do, they do really well.


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