Friday, November 19, 2010
Drinking Zinfandel on Global Zinfandel Day
Pictures: Christian G.E.Schiller drinking Zinfadel with (from top to bottom) Dan Duckhorn, Pete Seghesio Jr. and Harry Wetzel, all at Pearson's in Washington DC
Global Zinfandel Day
Today is Global Zinfandel Day. “It’ is a 24-hour event for wine lovers to explore Zinfandel, the uniquely American varietal that pairs well with a wide array of foods,” explains organizer Chris Oggenfuss. “For our premiere Zinfandel Day we envision people around the world tasting Zinfandels and sharing their recommendations, whether with friends at home or in the virtual global community via #Zinfandel on social media sites,” he adds.
Zinfandel is a red grape variety planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards. It was long considered to be the “American Grape”. But new research revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, and also the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in the "heel" of Italy, where it was introduced in the 1700s. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century.
The arrival of Zinfandel in the US may have been via the Imperial Nursery in Vienna, Austria, which likely obtained the vines during the Habsburg Monarchy's rule over Croatia. After World War II, medium sweet White Zinfandel became immensely popular in the US. At the end of the end of the 20th century, red Zinfandel wines came back into fashion.
Zinfandel Day is a great way for wine lovers world-wide to share food pairing recommendations, plans for the holidays, or travel tips for visiting Zinfandel wineries in California. Participants can register at http://zinfandel.eventbrite.com or http://www.meetup.com/zinfandel/ Travelers who would like to visit participating Zinfandel Day wineries in person today, find a list of participating wineries on these sites as well. For the foodie interested in sharing food pairing ideas with friends, log on to http://www.zinfandelic.com/zinfandel-wine-food-pairing.html.
The organizers of Zinfandel Day encourage people to share these links and set up tastings with friends, wherever they may be. People can follow along on Twitter by using Twitter management software such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck and set up a search column for #zinfandel, the hashtag to use to keep up with fellow Zinfandel fans from around the globe. People can also participate via Facebook, Ustream or other networks.
My Favorite Zinfandels
Here are my three favorite Zinfandels.
Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma 2008
Pete Seghesio: Our family roots are firmly planted in Zinfandel, as our great-grandfather, Eduardo Seghesio, first planted this intriguing varietal on our Alexander Valley Home Ranch in 1895. Today, we share his passion and, reverently, farm over 250 acres of estate Zinfandel in Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys. This wine combines sites that have produced Zinfandel for over a century with newer sites that utilize proprietary clones and the most advanced viticultural practices. Climatic-induced spicy undertones mark the 2008 vintage. Vibrant display of acidity enhances the briary raspberry and blackberry varietal expression. Lush, velvety mouth feel interwoven with fine, integrated tannins creates a smooth richness. Full-bodied, juicy mid-palate with Seghesio "balance."
Alexander Valley Sin Zinfandel 2007
Harry Wetzel: Sin Zin is arguably our best known wine. Most folks are initially drawn in by the label, but once they taste what's inside the bottle, they quickly realize that this is no novelty wine. That may be why Sin Zin remains one of the most popular Zins in America and why, according to Wine & Spirits magazine, it's the Zin of choice in many of the nation's restaurants. The 2007 is a classic Alexander Valley Zinfandel. In the glass, you'll find generous aromas of black cherries, blueberries, vanilla and spice. The big fruit notes are apparent right at the front end. The hefty flavors of cherries and plums carry this wine right through the mid-palate, paving the way for a lengthy finish, where a touch of spicy oak rears its head.
Duckhorn Decoy Zinfandel 2008
Winery Notes: Our winemaking team has been crafting a world-class red blend using Napa Valley Zinfandel since 1994. Decoy Zinfandel allows us to explore this robust and appealing grape as a stand-alone wine. It offers the concentration and complexity that has made the Napa Valley famous, while highlighting classic Zinfandel elements of raspberry, strawberry jam, white pepper, cedar and spice.
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