Zinfandel Blends for an Interesting Effect
Many who have experienced a good Zinfandel will attest to the fact that “Zin” is at its best when it’s chasing after a big plate of barbequed whatever. But drink a Zinfandel by itself or with non-barbeque entrée, then the big jammy finish, spiciness, and alcohol heat can be a little much.
So unless you are a “Zin hound”, the Zin rack is usually left alone except for when the ribs, hamburgers, or pulled pork are on the menu. Of course, our California producers have been aware of this for some time and have long since been addressing these objections by blending Zinfandel with other grapes in countless combinations.
Some of the most well known vintners who do this are Paraduxx, Ridge, and Orin Swift. They each create a “red wine” that contains Zinfandel in addition to one or more other grapes, resulting in wines that surprise and impress. In fact, these blends can be quite elegant and mimic the positive characteristics of more expensive wines. That makes these blends an excellent value.
One of the lesser known vintners to produce a Zinfandel blend is Trinitas. Their “Old Vine Cuvee” adds Carignane to the mix and has an appeal, not only with the barbeque crowd, but also with charbroil steak and grilled chicken lovers. It has the ripe red berry bouquet of a Zinfandel and also the plum and dried currant bouquet of a Cabernet. The finish has light tannins but minus the jamminess and hot spice of a pure Zinfandel, very tricky.
Serve slightly chilled from after 20 minutes in the fridge (60-65 degrees). This one does quite well to savor all by itself.
Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com
View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.