It’s that time of year again: the opportunity to soak in those long, lingering golden sunsets with good food, family, friends and of course, the juicy style of wines for which Lodi is especially known. Who doesn’t associate the welcomed length of spring days and incoming sun-soaked waves of summer with barbecue? It’s an American thang; a perennial return to basic, human, primal instincts.

Here in Lodi, we can’t think of a more ideal union than a good Lodi-grown wine matched with…

Smoky baby back ribs, pulled pork, or tomato-based barbecued pork.

Grilled smoky pork with classic tomato based barbecue sauces – laced with vinegar, brown sugar, onions, chili spices and Worcestershire – cordially invite wines with equalizing doses of tannin and alcohol to absorb the pork fat and sweet fruitiness to balance out the sweet, sour and hot sensations in the sauce. This is why hoity-toity wine critics may never really “get” Lodi-grown red wines as much as we may want them to – they can’t quite relate to wines in terms of basic food contexts.

Read our lips: there’s nothing like a big, fat, juicy, jammy Lodi Zinfandel paired with classic American barbecued pork. Our experience: the bigger, the fatter and the jammier the wine, the better – critics be damned!

For many a backyard grillmeister, barbecue means ribs. Especially pork ribs, with their soft, chewy cartilage on the bone ends, made all the more toothsome when consumed with juicy red Zins. Oh, you can get serious and go for ultra-premium Lodi brands like those of Harney Lane, Michael~David’s Earthquake, Macchia, m2, or one of Jesse’s Grove’s or Van Ruiten’s special bottlings.

The fact is, here in Lodi we believe the fruitier and fattier the Zin, the more fun with sticky racks of baby back! Think: Michael~David’s 7 Deadly Zins, Jesse’s Grove’s Earth, Zin & Fire, the ubiquitous Gnarly Head by Delicato, or the velvety Zins of LangeTwins, Valhalla Cellars or Klinker Brick. If you’re yearning for Zins of lush, sweet berry jamminess and black pepper, clove and/or cinnamon spices, plus soft, generous, curvaceous bodies which make the consumption of sweet/spicy/vinegary pork barbecues all the more delectable, the choice of a Lodi Zin is a no brainer!

Bring on the sun, barbecued fun and bevy of fruit-driven Lodi wines!