I honestly can’t think of another wine as divisive (and dismissed) as Zinfandel… White Zinfandel perhaps? Nope, still Zinfandel.
Every time I think about Zinfandel I’m reminded of my dad. He’s a lover of wine - not of the study of wine, but of the joy of sharing a bottle and sipping on a glass while grilling on the deck. And you guessed it, he loves Zins. But I always cringe a bit when I think back to the time he visited me in Paris while I was studying at Cordon Bleu and asked our snooty waiter for a bottle of Zinfandel - “or something like it,” he offered generously. I thought the waiter was going to spit in our food as he dismissively responded. “Sir, we do not serve Zinfandel here,” he proudly proclaimed before walking off without taking the rest of our order.
Oh, poor Zin! In fairness, the grape is often made into an overripe, jammy wine that has no place on the table, and in some cases turned into that sweet pink soda pop of a wine that truly put the nail in the coffin for its reputation. So, in some ways, it asks to be the butt of all the wine jokes. But as you’ve probably guessed, that’s not what we have here! I’m thrilled for all of you - and especially for my dad - to say that we can and should take Zinfandel seriously (when done well), and there are some rock star producers, like the Maitre de Chai team, that are making sure you see this maligned grape in all its glory.
This delightful bottle feels like a loving pat on the back. It energizes you, warms your soul, and puts a big smile on your face. A lighter, more fresh and tannic driven zinfandel than Californians are used to seeing, this wine takes a grape that is often gilded beyond recognition (and certainly beyond balance), and transforms it into something simultaneously serious and worthy of recognition, while also immediately enjoyable and perfect for the table. It would pair perfectly with:
~ Spanish style pork burgers
~ Skirt steak with chimichurri
~ Chicken tacos with chipotle
~ Harissa marinated lamb with eggplant toast and tomato salad
~ Grilled ratatouille
~ Zucchini noodles with mushroom bolognese