Raise your glass if white Zinfandel is the first wine you ever tasted. We know there are a lot of you. Admit it, you loved being handed a glass of white Zin back in the day instead of a Solo cup of lite beer from the keg. You felt mature, like you had graduated to something more sophisticated. The path to your future wine drinking was paved in pink and it felt cool. So, what happened? Too sugary? Or do we detect a hint of wine snobbery?
Today is as good as any occasion to sip into one of America’s favorite grapes – and the wine from this grape isn’t all pink, you know. The reds have a bold taste that wash down BBQ and spicy dishes with ease. Zinfandel has moderate tannins, high acidity and also pairs well with turkey and ham for Thanksgiving!
As you reminisce with friends about the white Zins you loved in your early 20s, throw in a little grape history. According to ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates Producers), Zinfandel is believed to be one of the oldest grape varietals from which wine is still being made. Exactly how it got to California is up for debate. Italy, Croatia and Austria are front runners in the discussion. No matter how it arrived and thrived, it’s considered an American wine grape with an international audience and enthusiastic fans.
Here are a few recommendations for Zinfandels that will satisfy any day:
Saldo Zinfandel: Ripe cherry and charred oak aromas with blackberry and peppercorn flavors out of Sonoma Valley, CA.
Hilt & Blade Zinfandel: With light touches of oak and bold Zin fruit flavors, this full-bodied wine out of Napa Valley combines concentrated flavors with a good, firm structure of fine-grained tannins and supportive acidity.
Block 425: Cool climate Zin grown in the Spring Mountain District above Napa Valley. Juicy black raspberry flavor with complex mineral notes.
Torchbearer: Deep purple with notes of blueberry, blackberry, hints of sage and pepper on a big, rich framework. From the Lodi, CA.