Skip to main content

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. 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!


Post a Comment

Talk to me. I welcome your comments. (These comments are strictly moderated. Spammers take note.)

Popular posts from this blog

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

What can you do to kill fruit flies?  We've all been there.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. There are many solutions offered for fruit fly traps to help you solve your problem.   A quick Amazon search found these products. You can spend your money on one of these solutions or I can save you a whole lot of your hard-earned cash today. My solution is the best.  Here's why: You have the ingredients in your kitchen now.  You need apple cider vinegar and a mild dish liquid . It's a healthy, family-friendly solution. It works quickly. Two-Ingredient No Pesticide Fruit Fly Trap

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with a hearty bread. It is the breakfast you want when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread for toast, a bread machine like mine  will make that easy as can be. Three Ingredients for a Great Breakfast A loaf of your favorite bread Extra-large eggs, because you want a g

How to Turn Store-Bought Potato Salad from Blah to Amazing

Here's a time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts.  When you need a quick potato salad, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of the store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better Take Your Potato Salad from Blah to AH-Mazing! What should you do if you want that store-bought potato salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having people over for an impromptu barbecue and you'd like your potato salad to be a little special. There is no need to fret.  A quick trip to the grocery store will get you start

Rum Punch for a Party

As the weather warms and you start to think about gathering friends and family for parties and celebrations you'll want to think about signature cocktails. This rum punch cocktail is an ideal cocktail for a large gathering. Don't you think a warm-weather cocktail should make imagine yourself sitting by the shore with your toes in the sand? Rum punch is one of those cocktails.  Cool and fruity, rum punch will make a party! One sip and you'll be transported to the beach. Rum Punch Cocktail (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) Rum Punch for a Party! This rum punch recipe is a make-ahead recipe I use whenever we are having a large group for a summer picnic or barbecue.  Use the recipe below as your baseline and double or triple the ingredients as needed. You'll need a large container for storage and room enough in your refrigerator to keep it cool.  My f

One-Pot American Chop Suey

Whether you call it American Chop Suey or Goulash, this dish is sure to please both the kids and adults at your dinner table. You'll be happy because this is truly a one-pot recipe that is ready to serve in about 40 minutes. How great is that? You'll love that this recipe makes enough to feed at least eight people.  That makes it perfect for a family dinner or to eat now and freeze for later. American Chop Suey This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  When you shop with these kinks we receive compensation. American Chop Suey is a bowl of comfort brought to you by the tasty combination of ground beef, elbow macaroni. tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.   The only thing in this recipe that links this dish to chop suey is a few tablespoons of soy sauce for depth of flavor. I make my American Chop Suey in my Ninja Cooking System using the stovetop setting, but it can easily be made in a large