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red zinfandel: who knew?

June 14

If I had to choose one favourite adult beverage, hands down it is red wine. I would consider myself a wine enthusiast who lacks in-depth knowledge regarding this oh so soothing drink, but I know what I like. And it’s generally the big, bold reds. I hang with no wimps. So when I recently had the opportunity to sample some Ravenswood red zinfandels I was a little skeptical.

Apparently so too was Ravenswood’s founder, Joel Peterson, who, when it was suggested to him back in the ’70s that he try his hand at zinfandels, he exclaimed ‘I don’t do sweet, I don’t do wimpy, I don’t do pink’. Fortunately he realized that zins can be the opposite of that common perspective that I shared – until I tried a couple of their big zinfandels; I can attest that these wines absolutely follow the winery’s motto of ‘No Wimpy Wines!’.

ravenswood’s joel peterson (left)

My two Ravenswood favourites span the high-low spectrum. Retailing at the LCBO for $59.95, 2008 Old Hill Zinfandel is refined but assertive, with aromas of mint, cedar, vanilla and dark chocolate are underpinned by the full fruit character of Bing cherries and black raspberries. Definitely big and rich on the palate.

More in my wine purchasing realm, the 2010 Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel is an affordably priced, delicious alternative at $17.95 at the LCBO. Although I saw it even more affordably priced over the border in Buffalo, NY for $7.95, but that price disparity compared to the LCBO is a whole different story, addressed in a recent Toronto Life article. But I digress…the Ravenswood VB Old Vine zin is robust and spicy, offering tantalizing aromas of black cherry, raspberries, and blueberries along with hints of oak, fruit flavors, flexible tannins, and a long, fruit-forward finish. Suggested pairings include ‘mega plate of red-sauce pasta or barbecued pork ribs’ but at the tasting we were treated to a fabulous pairing of bison sliders. Serious yum. And I’ve seriously changed my perspective on zinfandels, for the better. Much better. Who knew?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14 8:29 am

    Red Zinfandel is our favourite as well. We actually drink quite a bit of the Ravenswood zin (well, we did before I was preggo) and I can’t wait to have my first drink post-baby!!

  2. June 15 4:00 pm

    Red Zinfandel is the only way to go- my father refuses to even allow white zinfandel in the house- seriously- if someone gifts it to him he ceremoniously pours it down the drain or re-gifts to someone he doesn’t particularly like, I don’t know which is worse but the point being I can recommend a few more for you to check out- Biale, Ridge and Martinelli! Cheers! Enjoy!

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