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Zinfandel

I am an avid reader of Wine Spectator and several other wine related periodicals that led me to this next article. The June 30, 2009 edition of Wine Spectator just arrived dedicated a great section to Zinfandel wines. I am a big fan of Zinfandel as a red wine lover. I must add the deep red selections of Zinfandel; not the white, pink colored sweet versions. Although in their article “The ABC’s of Zinfandel, Wine Spectator does state that “Ironically, white Zinfandel has been both a savior and a curse. Without it, many of the now cherished old vine Zinfandel Vineyards may have been ripped out, and yet in the minds of many consumers Zinfandel will always be that sweet and simple rose”. Okay, but in my mind if white Zinfandel saved many of the old vine Zinfandel vineyards around the Napa Valley area from sure destruction, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Just don’t expect that you will read about me drinking it anytime soon. In California Zinfandel happens to be one of the most widely planted wine grapes with some 50,000 acres planted as of 2008. Why? It is a vigorous producer capable of yielding 8 tons or more of fruit per acre. Most top Zinfandel makers will keep loads much smaller in the 2-3 ton an acre range to achieve better depth and intensity. There is an ongoing debate over whether the old vines make the best Zinfandel and my answer is give them due respect, after all they are our vineyard senior citizens. I read with interest the “Zinfandel For Every Taste” article with some great recipes. I just wondered why no one ever pairs Zinfandel with one of my favorites, and I know I will take a lot of heat from the “experts” on this one. Yes my favorite pairing is a great Zin and Pizza. You heard me right “Pizza” a food that has become as American as apple pie. A good Zinfandel with a nice peppery finish stands up well in my opinion to the tomato, cheese and acids of the pizza, and the wine won’t fill you up like beer. Don’t take my word for it, purchase a good selection of Zinfandel and a pizza and do your own test, I bet you will have found a new love. Check out Wine Spectator’s August edition or visit them on line at www.winespectator.com for the complete stories, and check out the Q and A article with Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Cellars, very informative. By the way as I write this I am enjoying a pizza from our favorite local shop along with a Venge Vineyards Scouts Honor, a blend of 68% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah and 17% Charbono. Ah, can life get any better?

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