Zinfandel, the mysterious grape

by Alberto Martínez

Zinfandel strain is mostly situated in California, a place that was considered the cradle of Zinfandel for a long time, but modern studies revealed that this grape has Croatian and Italian ancestors, a fact which increased the mystery of its origin discussed from the eighteenth century as well as the provenance of the strains name (Zinfandel), for which there isn’t a reliable version.

After the great depression suffered in the United States, as well as the famous restriction, many vineyards on the West Coast bet on this particular strain, with California as their main home until today. Almost 80% of wines is produced from this strain at the valleys of California. Italy is the second largest producer of Zinfandel, but we must say that these harvests are relatively young compared to the Americans. Also found in Croatia and Crljenak Kaštelanski where they presume to be the mother of Zinfandel.

Knowing a Zinfandel

The Zinfandel is a vigorous strain and warm climates are the best home, an extremely hot climate tends to fade the grape quickly. Zinfandel clusters are large and tight, a fact which accelerates ripening. Another point to note is the high sugar content, which is why it is widely used in developing the so-called “dessert wines” .

Zinfandel wines are often criticized of its high alcohol content, a fact that makes a “hot” wine, but today with new winemaking techniques makes possible to lower the grades. For example if a Zinfandel has tannins, comes to be 15 degrees of alcohol. Another detail that makes changing the flavors of Zinfandel wine is the aging which affects mainly the flavor.

Zinfandel wine in the nose can show hints of apple and tobacco, if the wine is ripe enough, you can taste aromas of strawberries, blackberries and cherries.

The perfect pairing

Zinfandel wine has the capacity to combine with spice and seasoning dishes, from stews of meat, caviar, seafood to strong cheeses and a special mention for the food that contains plenty of pepper (paprika or chili). It can also be combined with dry fish, cooked fish in lemon, sushi etc…

To enjoy all the qualities of this wine is important to know the optimum temperature and this wine is enjoyed at a temperature of 14 degrees, although if they are accompanying heavy foods we suggest one more degree.

Want to try the Zinfandel? From here we recommend 2 easy wines to find, both of Ravenswood Winery:

Ravenswood Vintners Blend 2007 Zinfandel, a wine with the warm of the Zinfandel is colored by the other grapes from which it is assembled. Ideal for a start.

Ravenswood Zinfandel 2007: Once you’ve tried the Blend, it’s time to discover the Zinfandel alone, and that’s what this 100% Zinfandel wine is, you’ll love it…

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