Zinfandel and Rabbit!

I know what most of you are thinking: that poor little bunny. How could you eat that? But after hearing a friend talk about how his dad makes the best rabbit for several years, I had to get an invite for the next feast. And that’s exactly what happened last night.

First, let me back up. When I was growing up, we were involved in the local 4H club and raised our own rabbits and sheep. While the rabbits were for show, we ate the lamb on a regular basis. I certainly never thought twice about it. But just a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have eaten rabbit. Not quite sure what the difference is. Likely because we had the rabbits as pets. I even had one living in my room at one point.

When we arrived last night, the rabbit was just going on the rotisserie. I will spare you the before picture, but this during picture is necessary….This recipe has been perfected over years and years of practice. It’s not just a rabbit, but an Italian Sausage stuffed rabbit wrapped in bacon….total yum!

Of course, we had to open a bottle of wine while we were waiting for the meal to be completed. I brought along a 2008 Domaine Carneros Le Terre Promise….La Terre Promise means the promise land and it is one of the best Pinot Noir’s I’ve had all year. This is a small production Pinot sourced from just one of the 4 properties that Domaine Carneros owns. It was the perfect wine to just sit back and drink.

You probably imagined that we didn’t just have rabbit. No, there was an entire smorgasbord, starting with heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil…

The main course was rabbit, Italian sausage, broiled chicken, pesto pasta, garlic bread, swiss chard….This family, after all, is Italian and the last time we had dinner there we started at 6:00 and didn’t leave the table until almost five hours later. That was pre-kids though. So, last night’s dinner was a little shorter. I have to say, the rabbit was very moist with tons of flavor, but not game-y at all. It was definitely the highlight of the meal for me.

We had three different Zinfandel’s open on the table….

2004 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel.

2008 Bella Vineyards Maple Vineyard Zinfandel.

2008 Brazin Old Vine Zin, Dry Creek Valley.

I think everyone agreed that our pick of the night was the Bella. For me it was not only the flavor of the wine, but also the great pairing with the rabbit!

To top off the evening, we finished with this olallieberry pie…

And Limoncello….

The meal, wine and company all came together in a night that I won’t soon forget. It was an excellent first experience with rabbit and one that will probably jade me for all other future rabbit experiences.













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2 responses to “Zinfandel and Rabbit!

  1. In the USA there is a long history of farming rabbit and hunting wild rabbit for food. Rabbit is a low fat, dense protein that does not impact the land adversely and can even be raised on small lot for home consumption. It is good to see it used so deliciously.-Franco Rios, Sacramento

  2. Thank you for your comment! This is great info. It makes perfect sense, but I didn’t think about it that way. I appreciate you reading!

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