Zinfandel and Black Pepper Marinated Tri-Tip

A featured Wine Club recipe for Gnekow Family Winery - Campus Oaks - Château Meroux.
Zinfandel and Black Pepper Marinated Tri-Tip


A tender tri-tip marinated in black pepper and herbs and grilled to perfection. Pair this with a full Old Vine Zinfandel.

Yield: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 120 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes


• 1 Tri-tip, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 in. thick (about 2 lbs )
• 2 bottles of Campus Oaks Old Vine Zinfandel
• 6 sprigs fresh thyme
• 4 sprigs fresh savory
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 shallot chopped coarsely
• 6 green cardamom pods
• 1 stick of cinnamon
• 1 bay dried leaf
• 1 Tbs. coarse fresh ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup honey
• Sea salt to taste


Pour 2 cups of Campus Oaks Old Vine Zinfandel into a non-reactive saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from the stove, and add the thyme, savory, garlic, shallot, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf. Set aside to cool, allow the flavors to infuse into the Zinfandel.

Rub the Tri-tip with the coarse ground black pepper. Put the Tri-tip in a Zip Lock bag, add the cooled marinade and seal. Marinate for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.

Place another 2 cups of Zinfandel (the rest can be used by the Chef while the Tri-tip cooks!) into a non-reactive saucepan and place on the stove over high heat. Reduce the volume until just 1/4 cup remains; add the honey and season to taste with sea salt. Set aside.

Light the barbeque with mesquite wood and allow the coals to heat up. After the coals are ready, set up the grill for indirect cooking by placing the coals on one side only. Remove the Tri-tip from the marinade and season with sea salt. Place on the hot grill opposite the coals. Cover the grill, adjust the vents and cook until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for rare (our favorite). You should turn the Tri-tip every 5 minutes to assure even cooking. The time will vary depending on the size of the Tri-tip, the heat of the grill, and the desired wellness you prefer your meat cooked. In the last 3-5 minutes before the tri-tip is done, brush with the Zinfandel and honey reduction. This will give the meat a nice glaze. Be sure to monitor the heat of the grill, as too high of a heat will cause the honey in the glaze to caramelize very quickly. You can reheat the marinade and boil for at least 5 minutes, strain and thicken with cornstarch for a nice sauce.

Allow the tri tip to rest for at least 10 minutes prior to slicing. Thinly slice across the grain of the meat and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Plate immediately after serving. Serve with choice of roasted vegetables, potatoes, and/or rice.

Recipe provided by Gnekow Family Winery.