Judy Garland had a hit song in 1939 with “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart.”
More recently, the word has been associated with the derivation “zinger” for a pointed, witty remark, or for something exciting or stimulating.
“Zing” has also made its way into wine parlance. I often describe sauvignon blanc as possessing “zingy acidity,” meaning enjoyable, exciting, pleasant acidity.
I have also used the word to describe the perfect match of food to wine. The pairing of raw unadorned oysters on the half shell with a white Burgundy zings. A big, juicy filet and a California cabernet zing.
Pairing food with wine is not rocket science. For years, the rule of thumb was to pair red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat. This rule works to a point, but what about pork, “the new white meat,” or pink salmon? What if that pork or salmon is slathered in hoisin sauce or barbecue sauce?
Pork slathered in spicy hoisin sauce might better pair with German Riesling, while unadorned, oven-roasted pork might work with pinot noir, and hickory-smoked pulled-pork barbecue might be best with a hearty red zinfandel.
If you’re new to this wine pairing thing, professional help is coming to town. Tyson Fine Wine and Things in Golden Springs is offering “ZiNG,” a seminar for those in the trade and for those who simply want to learn more about pairing food and wine, 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday.
What is ZiNG? “ZiNG is about food and wine togetherness. ZiNG in wine refers to that spark, that pizzazz that happens when two things unite and are just way better together than alone,” says Bobby Flournoy of Atlanta, who will be conducting the seminar.
Flournoy is a certified ZiNG instructor who developed a passion for wine at an early age. He honed his skills by waiting tables, bartending and managing restaurants, eventually moving on to work for wine distributors. He currently is a partner in his own wine distributing/import company, B&L Brands, based in Atlanta.
Flournoy says ZiNG is based on chemistry — “irrefutable, unbiased, chemistry.” (Maybe I was wrong about this not being rocket science.) But Flournoy says not to panic. He has done all the homework and is going to make the seminar fun and easy-to-follow.
You will learn the six elements of wine, seeing how each glass has distinct differences, peaks and lows. You will then move on to the eight elements of food, and partner these eight food elements with the six wine elements. Along the way, Flournoy, who missed his calling as a stand-up comedian, will enlighten the group with a few fun tidbits for future use at social gatherings.
The cost is $60 per person. Reservations must be made in advance, and secured by check or credit card no later than noon Friday. Call Tyson Fine Wines and Things at 256-236-9910, or drop by the store at 3326 Henry Road in Golden Springs.