Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Fun Way to Try Red Zinfandel Wine

Are you wine challenged?  Do you wonder what wine to pair with which foods?  Well, that would be me.  I am a "safe" wine drinker.  By that I mean I stick with the same wine day in and day out, chicken, fish or steak.  Are you like me?

Last weekend I wanted to try something new.  But what?  We were having the beef bourguignonne dinner I wrote about a few days ago.  I knew that a red wine was in order, but which one?

Hubby went to our local wine store (Dick's World of Wines) where a red zinfandel was recommended by the very knowledgeable Bob Vuono.  Hubby decided to get three different bottles of red zinfandel wine so we could use this as an opportunity to taste each of the different wines with our meal.  It would give us an opportunity to try a new variety of wine, three different brands and to compare and contrast what we liked about them. 

Does that sound like fun?   Yes, it was.

The three wines we served with our dinner were:

The Zinfandel Wines

Jonathan Edwards, 2007, Zinfandel
Zen of Zin, 2008, Old Vine Zinfandel
Apothic Red, 2009, Winemakers Blen (Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot)

We were looking for affordably priced wines, all with the same grape variety.  The variables in these wines were:
  • the age of the wine 
  • blended versus non-blended wine

I prepared a Zinfandel fact sheet for each person.  You can take a look at the Zinfandel fact sheet here


The Zinfandel Fact Sheet

Each place setting had three wine glasses, one for each of the wines.

Three Wine Glasses at  Each Place setting

The dinner we were having with the wine was beef bourguignonne, roasted Brussels sprouts (with bacon and garlic) and twice baked potatoes.

The Beef Bourguignonne Dinner

Here are some of the comments we wrote down about the wines:
Jonathan Edwards, 2007 Zinfandel: 
  • Cherry flavor is prevalent, smooth,
  • Spicy, bold, oaky
  • Taste is sharp with food, wine has a bite, can smell oak
 Zen of Zin, 2008, Old Vine Zinfandel
  • A little bitter, can smell oak
  • Just right with beef bourgiugnonne
  • Fruity, light
Apothic Red, 2009, Winemaker's Blend
  • Fruity
  • Light, tasty, fruity
  • Good with food-harsh without food, can smell fruit
In general some conclusions we made were:
  • The wines taste differently with food than without food.  We specifically tried each wine with food and on its own.
  • Each person had a different favorite, generally aligned with the level of fruitiness they preferred.
  • This is a great way to try new wines and learn about how wines differ.

So, go ahead.  Buy some new wines to try at your next dinner party.  It will liven up your taste buds and add some fun conversation to your evening. 

Want to read more about wine tastings?

Five Tips to Make The Most of A Wine Tasting

We will certainly try this again!

Chardonnay Wine Tasting

1 comment:

  1. We love Zinfandel! That Zen of Zin was surprisingly good given how inexpensive it is, and the Jonathan Edwards Zin is a favorite of ours.
    That dinner looks delicious!


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