EDUCATIONAL ARTICLES AND INFO
While the best way to learn about wine is to actually taste it, a little bit of historical perspective and educational info never hurts. Every month we feature a different winegrowing region, grape varietal or style of wine and throughout the month our newsletter and website will feature educational tidbits about the that month’s chosen subject. In addition to the extra information about our featured wines, they will also be on sale all month long.
WINE EDUCATION: ZINFANDEL
A Juicy Wine that should be Mandatory at a BBQ!
Zinfandel is an immigrant like most Americans. Cuttings from the imperial gardens at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna were brought to Boston hothouses in the 1820’s. Back then, it was a sign of wealth to have fresh grapes throughout the winter. It was appreciated for its ability to form perfect raisins. Grapes were carried by the ’49ers to California in the 1850’s.
Zinfandel is a wine truly made famous by California. Planted in over 10 percent of all Californian vineyards, the Zinfandel grape is an important player in the California red wine industry, creating a big, ripe red wine that comes with some of the highest alcohol content of any red wine on the market (between 14 and 17 percent). Due to the hot sun of California, Zinfandels have come to be known for their jammy, fruity characteristics.
One of the most popular types of Zinfandel is what is known as Old Vine Zin; these are wines that are made from Californian grapes grown on vines that are at least fifty years old. These Zinfandels are known to be even bigger in flavor and intensity than their younger counterparts and are considered to create a more premium version of the wine, therefore Old Vine Zinfandel commands a higher price.
Zinfandel has high acidity which is often described as tasting ‘spicy.’ Berry flavors are dominant, from strawberry to blackberry bramble, depending on the ripeness. If you like 5-spice powder, cloves and cinnamon look for oak-aged Zinfandel. If you like lighter and more delcate wines look for less oak. Do you want a richer Zinfandel or a lighter Zinfandel? The easiest way to tell how a Zinfandel will feel is to look at the alcohol level. Riper Zinfandel grapes produce wines with higher alcohol. Riper = richer darker ‘sweeter’ tasting Zinfandel.
Sources: Vinepair and Wine Folly
Taylor’s Wine Education 101 Blog:
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PREVIOUS MONTHS FEATURED WINES & REGIONS
January 2017 Features After Dinner & Dessert Wines
December 2016 Featured Cabernet Sauvignon
October 2016 Featured Wine Region was Spain
September 2016 Featured Wines from Southern France (Rhone & Languedoc)
August 2016 Featured Italian Wines – Shop Italian Wines Here
July 2016 Featured Japanese Sake
June 2016 Featured Chardonnay Wines
May 2016 Features Rose Wines
March 2016 Features Wines from Australia – Read more about Australian Wines
February 2016 Featured Merlot Wines
January 2016 Featured Port, Sherry, Aperitif and Dessert Wines