If you read my blog last week on what wines to serve on Thanksgiving, you’ll know that one of my recommendations was to pour a Zinfandel red wine.
Over the past years I have become quite fond of Zinfandel red wine. In fact Zinfandel is the primary blend in my Adler’s Blend red wine that I produce in Napa Valley.
Zinfandel is traditionally a black grape which originated in Croatia as a grape variety known as Tribidrag. The grape migrated to Italy and is known there as Primitivo. It’s a very popular grape in Southern Italy. It came from Italy to the United States in the mid-19th century (1829-1850) and became known as Zinfandel (Zin-fan-dell). Today it is the third leading wine-grape grown in California and is affectionately known as “Zin” in the U.S.
There are several types of Zinfandel wines. In the U.S. the grape is used to produce a robust red wine and a semi-sweet blush-style rosé called White Zinfandel. The white Zin sales are six times that of the red wine.
There are some common characteristics to Zinfandel wines. Typically, the wine has a nose of red berries, spices and peppers. On the palate you’ll get flavors of black fruits and spices. The finish will have medium to high tannins so you get a medium- to full-bodied wine that offers a freshness due to its good acidity. Depending on the climate the grapes are grown in, the wine can have alcohol levels above 15%.
2014 Seawolf Russian River Valley Zinfandel – Sweet Water Springs Vineyard
My good friend Roman Yoder, General Manager of Temper Grille, and I have lunch together every now and again (not often enough) and we of course spend most of the time discussing wine. At one of those (very fun and informative) lunches we were discussing Zinfandel wines. At our last lunch two weeks ago Roman brought me a bottle of 2014 Seawolf Zinfandel to try.
The wine is produced in very limited quantities by the husband and wife winemaking team of Jesse and Emma Hall. They own the organic winery Seawolf Wines, located in the Healdsburg, California, area of Sonoma County. The winery is a limited production facility. There were only 50 cases of the 2014 Seawolf Zinfandel produced. I think Roman and his father-in-law bought a fair number of them from the winery.
The Bottle of Wine I tried:
The wine was a deep dark red color, which is typical of Zinfandel. The nose was tight when it was first poured in the glass. After about 10 minutes it began to open with aromas of black fruit, hints of earthiness or slate, and mild spices. As the wine opened even more of the fruit aromas dominated with low amounts of spice and perhaps some oak. The finish was short but balanced with low tannins and acidity. The mouth feel was medium-bodied. The 2014 was a nice Zinfandel worth trying. Seawolf wines are available from the winery’s website and the prices on their site range from $24.00 to $48.00 per bottle depending on the type of wine.
I had this wine with leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner and it paired very well with Mrs. Tiedemann’s turkey and fixings. Zinfandel also pairs well with other foods such as beef (both BBQ and grilled), lamb, pork, poultry, pasta, Italian specialties such as lasagna and with strong and rich cheeses like blue, feta and aged Gruyere. Zinfandel is very much one of the most versatile red food pairing wines.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- December 20 – National Sangria Day
- December 31 – National Champagne Day