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All about zinfandel
What is zinfandel?
With a low alcohol content — between 9% and 10% ABV — a moderate price point and a drinkable sweet taste, white zinfandel is a first wine for many potential wine lovers.
The red version contains a little more alcohol, from 14% to 17% ABV. This fruity red wine typically features mouth-watering notes of jam, licorice, blueberry, cranberry, cherry, plum and red pepper. Sounds like the recipe for a cake. Some versions also have hints of tobacco and spices, for a more complex flavor profile.
Where does it come from?
Most zinfandel versions hail from California, especially from Napa Valley, Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley. Versions from highly elevated areas, like El Dorado County, tend to be richer and more savory. Some varieties, like Primitivo and Morellone, come from Puglia, Italy. Croatia makes some nice zinfandel wines too.
With what foods should you pair zinfandel?
Like many other sweet red wines, zinfandel tastes delicious with spicy dishes. Think curry, Japanese pork tonkatsu and so on. Anything with ginger, cayenne, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper or coriander works. Alternatively, you can enjoy it with BBQ meats, turkey, pork, veal, quail and lamb.
During happy hour, pair zinfandel red wine with appetizers that contain ham and bacon, as well as cheese plates with Manchego, Trentingrana, bandage-wrapped cheddar and other sharp hard cheeses.
Vegetarians and vegans can have fun matching this wine with savory, vegetable-based dishes. Flavorful veggies like red peppers, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes and squash are all good food pairings.