Video:What Is Zinfandel Wine?with Ash Mehta
Zinfandel is a popular grape in California that produces a variety of great wines. Watch this video from About.com to learn more about Zinfandel.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is Zinfandel Wine?
Hi I'm Ash Mehta here on behalf of About.com. I'm the owner of Tastes of the Valleys wine bar and wineshop, located in Pismo Beach, Calif. Today we're going to talk about Zinfandel.
What Is Zinfandel?
Zinfandel is the third most widely planted varietal in California, with some 50,000 acres planted. The San Joaquin Valley leads California in acreage with some 14,000 acres. Originally thought to be from Italy, recent DNA tests have proven that the grape is related to a varietal from Croatia. Introduced to California during the gold rush of the 1850s, Zin became widely planted due to its ability to thrive in California's climate and soil. It could be head-pruned, which means it needed no special equipment such as stakes and wires.
Flavor Profiles of Zinfandel
I call Zinfandel America's comfort wine because it has flavor profiles ranging from soft and sweet to spicy and tannic. You can choose a Zin from Amador County for its fruit-forward lusciousness and higher alcohol. Or a Zin from Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley for its spicy character. In San Luis Obispo County, you could choose a bold and definitely not very shy Zin with over 16.5 percent alcohol content, or a delicate number at under 14 percent alcohol.
White Zinfandel Is Popular
No discussion would be complete without mention of White Zin. A byproduct of Red Zin, winemakers often bleed off juice to concentrate more flavors in Red Zin. The White Zin craze really took off when Sutter Home Winery had a batch that didn't ferment completely. What that means is that there was some residual sugar left in the wine. Sweet and pink, it was a hit.
Tips for Pairing Zinfandel
While each Zinfandel reflects the winemakers style and the region where it's grown from, there are some common descriptors for Zinfandel. Zinfandel will often remind you of blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry, dark cherry, black pepper. Zinfandel pairs well with spicy, hearty dishes, grilled meats, rich tomato sauces, or you can have it like I do, all by itself. And those are the basics of Zinfandel. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.