Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Did you know? . . . About Zinfandel

Zinfandel is called “America’s Heritage Wine” by Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. The grape is thought to be one of the oldest varietals from which wine is still being made, and was introduced to California vineyards in 1852. Today, the grape has become synonymous with California in the world’s wine market.

When thinking of Zinfandel, many people remember the pink drink, called “White Zinfandel” that was popular in the 1980s and which has earned the grape a reputation for producing girly wines.

Not so! Zinfandel is lush, fruity, and bold.  Zinfandel wines are most often characterized by the fruit note, which leans towards cherry, strawberry, and boysenberry. Thanks to differences in the AOC regions of California, a wide range of Zinfandel options exist, from spicy to fruity to tart. The grape is sometimes blended with Petite Sirah to round out its flavors. The fruit is often very ripe when harvested, and the result is that most zinfandel wines are high in alcohol content, as high as 15% or more.

Overall, think of Zinfandel as your fruitiest of wines (not sweet, fruity!), and expect pepper and tartness as part of the deal.

Fun with labels, particularly this play off the grapes shorthand, "Zin."

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