This deep ruby colored Zinfandel from Sonoma County has bright red-fruit fragrances of pomegranate, red currant, and cherry, followed by vanilla and a touch of anise. The palate is a bit richer than indicated by the nose, with blackberry jam, cherries, cigar box and vanilla. Yet this is an elegant wine for a Zinfandel, with medium body, so it does not overpower the seafood components in Greg’s Cioppino. There is also noticeable acidity in this wine, which can handle the stew’s tomato-infused broth. What better wine to pair with this uniquely Californian dish, than a uniquely Californian grape variety?
For me, Zinfandel is a bit of a puzzle, because the things I love about Zinfandel can often be the very same things that make me turn up my nose a little. My vexation revolves around the “hallmark” qualities of the archetypical California Zin; fruit, oak and body. I love the fruitiness. Surely this is the main reason Zinfandel is so approachable. However, sometimes that fruitiness borders on “over-ripe,” with dull, raisin-like flavors. Oak, when deftly applied, adds nuances of spice and richness. When overdone, however, we end up with adjectives more suited to describe the food at your local BBQ joint. Finally, I like a full-bodied wine to stand up to bold flavors. However, Zins can push 16% ABV, which too often masks the varietal’s true beauty. GRANT
Pairs With Cioppino: The Best Fish Soup I know
Also pairs well with barbecue, beef, cheese, duck, grilled meats, hamburgers, pizza, pork, sausage, spicy foods.
- Category Red Wine
- Varietal Zinfandel
- Region Sonoma County CA