But with the upcoming ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) Tasting Jan. 29, the talk is there will be more food-friendly zinfandels poured.

And yet, for many pinot noir is seen as the ultimate food match, particularly the Burgundian style of pinot, earthy, tangy, with good acidity. So it begs the question: Is zinfandel in pinot’s shadow?

Morgan Twain-Peterson of Sonoma’s Bedrock Wine Co. weighs in …

“If you are talking great Burgundy, I think pinot is a more natural compliment to food– the more feral and savory inflections, combined with acidity and tannin, somewhat demands food,” Morgan Twain-Peterson said. “Many Californian examples of pinot though more closely resemble zinfandel in regards to weighty fruit and alcohol which I think makes it a harder match for food.”

Ultimately, Twain-Peterson said, it’s apples and oranges. “I think that zinfandel and pinot noir should be considered in a different trope — they are distinct varieties and the beauty of wine is that there is one for every occasion.”

Joel Peterson, the founder of Ravenswood who doubles as Twain-Peterson’s father, has to say:

“I don’t think that we really want to change zinfandel’s reputation as a full bodied, delicious, assertive, flavorful red wine,” said Peterson, the founder and head winemaker of Sonoma’s Ravenswood. “But these qualities do not disqualify it as a great food partner any more than a good conversationalist’s talking ability disqualifies that person as a good dinner guest.”

No question, zins are good conversationalists and there will be countless poured at ZAP at San Francisco’s Fort Mason. http://bit.ly/emBLHn

If you fancy zinfandel, do you think zin is better solo or with food? And can it stand up to pinot as a food match? Big opinions welcome.