I don’t hear much about Zinfandel these days, except during the annual Zinfandel Festival in nearby San Francisco. Last year, I produced a video which asked winemakers to describe their ideal Zinfandel food and wine pairings. The results were above and beyond the normal BBQ and grilled beef responses… Asian food? Mole? Watch the video.
And why not? Low in tannins, high in juicy flavor with some having plenty of acid, Zinfandel can create quite the zesty love affair with food.
Seghesio is a classic producer of Zinfandel, hanging their hat on the varietal and other Italian grapes such as Barbera (one of my favorites that they produce). Purchased in 2011 by Crimson Wine Group (read that story), I worried their quality would lag behind profit pressures but they seem to have weathered the transition pretty well so far. Their 2010 Zin from Sonoma County has a gorgeous smell of concentrated fruit with plum, cigar, white pepper, strong-brewed tea, blackberry and black raspberry in the mouth. It’s a burly, leathery, rugged Zinfandel with a sweet kiss at the finish. BUT, it has enough acid to develop a relationship with food. Keeps you guessing and wanting more ’til the end, much like an interesting love affair. Great effort and what people want in a Zinfandel.
Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Price: $15 – $20
Alcohol level: 14.8%
Occasion: Purchased at winery. Tasted blind.
Availability: High-end retailers and big box wine stores
Food pairing: of course, BBQ is a natural choice, but watch the video and get more ideas.
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