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The Holidays are Coming – Are You Ready to Zin? (Wine Wino)

Red Zinfandel is an irreverent wine made primarily in the irreverent New World atmosphere of California. There are no heavy restrictions on experimentation and therefore, winemakers here are able to really cut loose.

Now, the inexperienced wine drinker wrinkles their nose at the mere suggestion that they drink Zinfandel because of the sweet pink version made popular in the 1980’s. Pink wines are no longer considered chic here in the United States but that trend single-handedly saved the Zinfandel grape from being ritualistically ripped from vineyards throughout the state. And for the Red Zinfandel lover – that would have been a travesty.

A ‘Big’ Zinfandel can have 15% to 17% alcohol. Depending on the age you will find that some Zinfandels have a light fruity flavor and others are deep with tannins for aging. This is a smooth drinking red with a whollop. So many of the bottles you will find will be fun to buy even if you have no idea as to the quality of the wine. There’s Cardinal Zin and 7 Deadly Zins (one of my personal favorites if for nothing else the back of the bottle is a great read) and many more aptly labeled vintages.

If you see the designation of ‘Old Vines’ on the label, it means that the vineyard did not pull everything out after the pink boom. It is actually one of the oldest grapes in California and historically comes from a Croatian grape. The grapes will be more mature and more intense in flavor because the older the vine is, the less it produces but the more concentrated the grapes become.

Enjoy your Wino this month.

And don’t forget to visit our website at There we have some great food pairings for Zinfandel and you can subscribe to our newsletter to get this news emailed to you each month.

Darcy & Stacy

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