23 October, 2008

Zinfandel: The "Horatio Alger" of California Varietels

Zinfandel: The “Horatio Alger” of California Varietals

In our current economic distress we could really use a “Rags to Riches” story. In fact, I say we should all find succor in a cheap, delicious Zin I recently discovered. But before I sing the praises of my new favorite, cheap bottle of Zin I would like to talk a bit about this all-American varietal. The Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) website call Zinfandel the “Horatio Alger” of the CA wine world. From its humble beginnings in 1800s Zinfandel is now the most widely planted varietal in the State of CA over 50,000 acres in various California microclimates . This grape is so popular it even has its own organization, it’s own annual festival, restaurants are named after it and there are website and chatrooms for Zin lovers to join (www.zinworld.org) Yes, Zin is big both literally and figuratively speaking.
After losing hundreds in the stock market (not too bad compared to others) I simply had to drown my sorrows in this delicious bottle of Zinfandel that I found at Trader Joes for $4.99. I am usually okay with cheap Zins so I decided to try the Santino 2004 Zinfandel Sierra Foothills. For this price I was not expecting something great. But what I got was a nicely balanced berry-infused delectable Zin. Not as smooth as more expensive Zinfandels but it has good acidity and a round dryness with a good dose of black fruit. Nice blackberry nose with hints of plum and just a bit of oak. More of a fruity Zin instead of a spicy one. Well worth your 5 dollars. So let us imbibe a decent, all-American Zinfandel and drown our ecomonic sorrows. At least we can do that without going broke! But if you really want to go for broke try it with the Trader Joe Barbeque Chicken Pizza. A match made in heaven that is worth breaking that Piggy bank for…
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