It is your patriotic duty to drink Zinfandel! Although the grape is believed to have originated in Croatia, there is more of it planted in our country than any other these days. Drinking a bottle with a grilled steak or rack of ribs is akin to eating apple pie, going to a baseball game or shooting off fireworks even when it’s not the 4th of July! Of course, most of it is planted in California, but several other states of the union are trying their hand with it as well. It can produce a wide range of styles of wine, but the style most revered is the robust, spicy, rich version that comes from California.
We’re going to sample three of them this Friday, so go ahead and get the ribs or steak thawed out for grilling after the tasting, as Zinfandel and grilled meat are a match made in heaven.
1. 2010 Four Vines Zinfandel “Truant” (Various Regions, California)
The wild and crazy team at Four Vines continue to amaze us with the quality of wines they produce across the board, including this one which is their supposed “entry level” wine. Fruit is sourced from prime Zinfandel spots all over the state and the wine is actually a blend of several different grapes with Zinfandel driving the bus. 77% Zinfandel, 13% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah, 3% Barbera and 2% Sangiovese work together to create a flavor smorgasboard of juicy blackberry, blueberry, plum and wood smoke and spice.
2. 2010 Ancient Peaks Zinfandel (Paso Robles, California)
We’ve long been supporters of Ancient Peaks and the families that jointly own the Margherita Vineyard on the west side of Paso Robles. Their Zinfandel comes from vineyards that are farmed with lots of TLC and the resulting wine is big, yet balanced with ripe, fat and jammy notes of raspberry, plum and blueberry along with the slightest hint of pepper.
3. 2008 James Creek Zinfandel (Napa Valley, California)
Scott Brown is the man behind James Creek wines, and he looks the part of a true cowboy with tight Wranglers, cowboy boots and a big old belt buckle. Just two of his wines make it to North Carolina and he only makes about 300 cases of his Zinfandel using fruit from a vineyard that he helped his family plant in 1972. Classic black pepper and spice notes highlight lush, ripe blueberry and raspberry notes in this wine that could easily sell for $40+……………but it doesn’t!
All tasting wines are 10% off by the bottle or 15% off if you buy six or more of them.