Prepare to be ZAP’d – The 22nd Annual Zinfandel Festival Coming Soon!

For all my wine loving friends, and in particular my Zinfandel loving friends, the 22nd Annual Zinfandel Festival is around the corner.  It is being held January 31 – February, 2013 in San Francisco at the historic Concourse Exhibition Center.  The event is hosted by the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (“ZAP”), and as Robert Biale, President of ZAP put it…

The ZAP Festival is one of the wonders of the wine world.”

Amen brother!

The Zinfandel Festival features four events over the 3 day period – follow the links for more information and to purchase tickets:


I attended the Zinfandel Festival for the first time last year. It was one of the wine event highlights of the year for me – both education and fun!  Last year was also the first time the event was held at the Concourse Exhibition Center.  What I really appreciate about Concourse location is it’s proximity to public transit and the delights of The City.  We went to a killer burger joint after the event last year!

I attended 3 of the 4 events (didn’t make it to the Winemakers Dinners, but it’s on my wish list!).  My favorite of the 3 events was Epicuria – a “gourmet adventure”.  It’s a walk around tasting of offering samplings of diverse culinary delights prepared by a cadre of restaurants and other food purveyors paired with Zinfandel. It demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt how Zinfandel can be so much more than a burger and BBQ wine for me.  For example, one of my favorite pairings Mojama (Cold-smoked Ahi Tuna) from Wine & Roses Hotel Restaurant, Spa paired with McCay Cellars 2008 Equity Zinfandel!

Check out this year’s list of participating wineries and restaurants

If Epicuria is the “appetizer”, then the Grand Tasting is the main course. Last year over 200 Zinfandel producer poured at the event!

Check out the list of this year’s wineries participating in the Grand Tasting 

This is a huge wine event.  Here’s my advice for maximizing your enjoyment:

  • Get there as early as you can.  It’s get crazy in the afternoon in terms of the sheer number of folks and the number of folk who have overindulged in Zin
  • Pace yourself.  It’s not a race.  Take some breaks.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use dump buckets or spit- liberally!
  • Don’t wear perfume of cologne
  • Wear dark clothes

To get a feel for my experience at last year’s event check out my recap of last year’s event:

2012 ZAP Zinfandel Festival Recap