Bottle Notes, Random Musings, Zinfandel

Zinfandel: The All-American Wine

zinfandel corks

What better way to celebrate Independence Day, the most American of holidays, than with Zinfandel, the most American of wines? France can arguably lay claim to the best Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. Germany to the best Riesling. But the USA lays claim to the best Zinfandel!

The popularity of Zinfandel seems to ebb and flow, but no other varietal has a non-profit organization dedicated solely to its promotion. Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) was founded almost 20 years ago with the mission of promoting Zinfandel as a world class varietal.

Why do I love Zinfandel?

  • It is the most food-friendly of all wines. It pairs perfectly with household favorites like pizza, burgers and chili.
  • It is affordable. The very best Zinfandel, with just a few exceptions, can typically be found for $25-$50.
  • Zinfandel represents the heritage and history of wine-making in California. Vineyards like Hayne, Ueberroth, Old Hill and Jackass date back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

My favorite Zins come from producers like Rafanelli, Carlisle, Turley, Bedrock, Brown, Outpost, Black Sears, Williams-Selyem, Ridge and Ravenswood.

I’d love to hear from some fellow Zinfandel advocates!

6 thoughts on “Zinfandel: The All-American Wine

  1. I will raise a glass to Morgan and Joel Peterson of Bedrock and Ravenswood whom have crafted some of the very best Zinfandel I’ve had.

  2. I remember when I was first getting into wine enjoying a Robert Mondavi Zinfandel. It was so much more generous and approachable than the equivalent Cab bottling. Truly enjoyable.

    I like Seghesio Sonoma County and Buehler under $20. They’ve got a long track record of quality over quite a few vintages.

    I’ll seek out some of your favorites I haven’t tried yet – thanks for the recommendations!

  3. For me, there is nothing like Zinfandel on any of the cook-out holidays–Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day. Yesterday we grilled chicken over mesquite coals that marinated in my favorite Upstate New York chicken marinade and accompanied it with a Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling and Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel. Great combos. The Home Ranch was soooo good. For under $35 it always makes me think about how much better it is than many $50-80 Napa Cabs. I agree with Robert’s comment about the Seghesio Sonoma County bottling as well. Such consistent quality at such a great price.

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