Life is Hell Without Zinfandel!
I have always thought of Zinfandel is the Labrador Retriever of the wine world. It is a big, juicy, happy tail-waggin’ kind of wine that almost everyone loves.
Zinfandel can be produced into many different wines, including sparkling wines; light, fruity blush wines; big, juicy hearty red wines; luscious late harvest wines and rich, sweet Ports. My favorite style of this versatile wine is big, juicy, hearty Zinfandel. Red, of course. Flavors that you will find in this style of wine will include berry, jam, pepper, raisin, soy sauce, mocha, brown spices and vanilla.
Zinfandel pairs well with many foods, including grilled salmon, seared Ahi tuna, pizza, hamburgers, spicy pasta dishes and grilled vegetables or even a good, spicy novel.
My panel and I really enjoyed tasting a goodly handful of Zinfandels from all over California. The following five were our favorites:
2007 Zinfandel, Napa County, $42
In a word – gorgeous! This wine is a decadent mouthful of yum! Mouthwatering aromas of blackberry pie, ripe black cherry and citrus are enhanced by cocoa and spice notes. Luscious in the mouth, with lingering flavors of blackberry, cherry, citrus and peppery spice.
Seven Deadly Zins
2007 Zinfandel, Lodi, $17
Come hither aromas of black cherry, plum, mocha and barbeque smoke lure the taster into a rich mouthful of consistent flavors. Long, delicious finish.
2006 Liar’s Dice Zinfandel, Sonoma County, $21
Blackberry pie cooling on a shelf, with some raspberry, cherry and floral notes thrown in – that’s what this yummy wine smells like! It is big, plush and sexy in the mouth, and packed with flavors of blackberry, cherry, vanilla and spice. Oh yeah!
2007 Zinfandel, Estate Grown, Mendocino County, $16
Red fruits dominate this juicy, delicious wine ? upfront aromas of raspberry, cranberry and strawberry play happily with spice, bramble and forest floor. This intriguing combination is present from the first sniff, through the juicy, bright mouth and all the way through the finish.
2006 Zinfandel, Lodi, $28
This Zin is huge, dark and rich – Shaquille O’Neal in a glass!
Coffee, dark chocolate and dark fruit (blackberry, plum and black cherry) aromas, with smoky, spicy notes continue as flavors in the powerfully rich mouth with good intensity. Long, spicy finish.