Sizzling Summer Selections!
As I was closing last months article about the "Wonderful Wines of
Summer", I left you hanging with one of my favorite grape varietals ,
Zinfandel. This grape gets it's roots from Italy and Croatia, where the
grape is called "primitivo and crljenak kastelanski". In California,
10% of all vineyards are planted with Zinfandel. This grape produces a
robust red wine and often contains alcohol levels above 15% which is
higher than other traditional red wines. I like to refer a good Zin as
The taste of the wine depends on the ripeness of the grapes at harvest.
Red berry fruits like raspberry notes from wines in cooler areas and
blackberry , anise and pepper notes are more common in wines harvested
in warmer climates. The age of the vines also is important with
zinfandel with some of the vineyards having been planted over 100 years
was originally planted in Napa Valley, but also has a large presence in
Amador, Sonoma, Lodi, San Luis Obispo, and Mendocino county.
Zins go great with BBQ's, which is why I call this a summer wine. The
spices in the sauces tend to interact great with the fruit forward
characteristic of this wine. I also like Zins with Mexican or Thai
food. For after dinner, try a Late Harvest Zinfandel, a fortified wine
that many Zin producers make.
Many of the wineries on the Ventura Wine Trail produce Zins as part of
their wine portfolio, so next time you are visiting one of the wineries
on the trail, make sure to try this varietal, then bring some home for
Questions or comments?
Reach me at :
last month's "Let's Talk Wine" article by Eric
Ventura Wine Bars
County Wine Trail
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