While California Zinfandel can be produced in various styles, ranging from light to full-bodied, they all exhibit a certain fruit forwardness that is frequently described as “jammy”. It is also known for licorice, spicy and peppery notes.
Zinfandel has gotten a bad rap from the abundant jugs of cheap, pink “white zin” lining the bottom shelves of many grocery store chains. However, this grape variety produces quality red wines that are food-friendly, versatile and delicious.
Zinfandel is outstanding when paired with barbecued red meats and bold cheeses, as its strong flavor profile can stand up to robust flavors. The fruit forwardness of this bold wine is balanced out by medium to high tannins, lending the wine firm structure.
Some of the most prominent regions for producing quality California Zinfandel are Paso Robles, Napa Valley, Amador County, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma and Lodi. Look for these regions when shopping for this all American wine to pair with your next barbecue.
Most California Zinfandels have a relatively high alcohol content, ranging anywhere from 14-17% abv, so sip (and hydrate!) accordingly.Read more
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