Zinfandel can be an easy
"quaffer" to enjoy by itself or with cheese and other appetizers.
It can also be a beast!
A beast that is big, is a structured
red wine, that needs some red meat to be paired with.
On any and all of the above,
Zinfandel is despite its longevity in the US, the most misunderstood grapes
thanks to white zinfandel. Regardless of his Italian twin, Primitivo
which has its home in the south of Italy, Zinfandel is originally from Croatia and
likely found its way to California during the Gold rush times dating back to
California Zinfandel shows great
fruit aromatics like blackcurrant, plum and raisins. Through the oak
aging it often picks up some cedar, smoke and white pepper notes and depending
on style can have a long finish on the palate.
Where to Find Zinfandel
Zinfandel can be found in various
wine producing states within the US, but is mostly known for its California
Zinfandels. In California Zin is grown in Sonoma County, Lodi, Mendocino County
amongst others. Each different region produces different styles
Zinfandel. As example for me, Lodi, which has some of the oldest vines,
produces nice juicy Zins whereas Amador produces big full bodied Zinfandel and
San Luis Opispo a softer and rounder version.
How to Pair Zinfandel
A lighter style Zinfandel can be
paired with some nice cheeses and mild appetizers
More intense versions should be
paired up with Lamb, Venison or mild bbq meats
Full bodied Zinfandels pair very well
with red meats such as Rib eye steaks or boldly flavored bbq meats.
I like a range of Zinfandels, but
Klincker Brick is certainly a great value amongst Lodi Zinfandels, whereas the
Bedrock Zin from Sonoma County offers bold aromas of wild berries and licorice
with hints of sage and brown baking spices. Beyond those and many more, I
am of course impressed with Turley's expressions of Zinfandel. Terrior