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ZinFest: Barbecue and barrel races

Enjoy good eats, live music, wine and a little weirdness

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 6:58 am

Wine lovers rejoice! Lodi Wine is hosting its 10th Annual ZinFest Wine Festival. Grab a glass of local wine, sample regional cuisine and shop one-of-a-kind merchandise along the north side of Lodi Lake.

From Chardonnays to Cabernets, ZinFest offers more than just its namesake Zinfandels.

At the event, wine enthusiasts can sample 250 wines poured by 50 participating wineries, including ZinFest staples like Michael David Winery and Harney Lane Winery, plus three newcomers participating for the first time.

This wine-lovers paradise offers a variety of entertainment, including ZinFest Cooking School, where a winemaker and a chef pair up to present a cooking demonstration and offer a paired wine tasting, live music along the Mokelumne River and the opportunity to sing along to your favorite tunes at the ZinFest Piano Bar.

In addition to ZinFest’s usual line-up, three main events are new this year, according to Sherri Cascaden, event coordinator for the Lodi Winegrape Commission.

For the first time, the event will feature an Up in Smoke! barbecue demonstration where throughout the day, Keith Breedlove, executive chef at French 25 in Stockton, will offer barbecue tips and demonstrations.

Also new this year, attendees can watch a Barrel Building Demo where Barrel Builders, Inc. from St. Helena will craft a wine barrel, allowing spectators to learn about the crafting process.

Spectators can also catch ZinFest’s first Vintner’s Regatta, where local winemakers will take to the water for a race in boats creatively crafted out of wine barrels.

Eleven San Joaquin restaurants and food purveyors will sell everything from pizza to pulled pork during the festival, with no one item costing more than $10.

Those who want to purchase food can do so using food tickets, one ticket per $1. Tickets can be used to purchase food and beverages but will not be redeemable for Zinfest merchandise or wine from the ZinFest wine shop.

However, throughout the event, the ZinFest Wine Shoppe will sell bottles of this year’s custom ZinFest wine – a blended Zinfandel created by Estate Crush.

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