When you think of wines, you probably think of the usual suspects – Spain, France, and Italy. The increasing popularity of wines has led to the emergence of various wines. Among these is Zinfandel wine. Coming almost exclusively from the United States, it is among the few wines that are thought of as American. It is a type of red wine, and it does offer something for everyone because of the range of styles it has. In fact, it is among the best wines you can start from when you are a complete beginner, as it has low content of alcohol and calories, while remaining very tasty.

Zinfandel wine
Zinfandel wine is grown predominantly in the beautiful vineyards of California where the beating sun ripens the grapes to create a beautifully complex wine

The history of the grape

For many years, it was not clear where the wine came from, and its history is indeed full of confusion, as many researchers spent plenty of time trying to figure it out. In the 1990s, it was finally determined that the grape came from California, and is closely related to the Primitivo grape of south Italy.

The first time the grape appeared in America (at least in written records) was in Boston in the 1830s, it went to California in the 1850s due to the gold rush happening in that part of the country, and it grew in popularity until the 1920s (prohibition era). The grape however, started to regain its popularity in the 1970s and continues its popularity today.

The profile of the flavor

There are two varieties of the grape, the white and red varieties. The white version is very close to a rose in its color, as it is slightly pink in color; and it is the more popular version. The body itself is light and fruity in its taste, but it lacks complexity.

The red variety has more complexity in its body compared to the white type. It is also light, but it has high levels of acidity, giving it a daring taste. The taste itself combines both spicy and fruity, including blueberry, cinnamon and strawberry, are the most prominent.

Pairing the wine with your meals

This wine is among the best beverages if you are starting to collect wine. Among the best qualities of Zinfandel wine is its versatile quality, as it can handle a wide range of meats. For instance, if you want to consume lamb, turkey, quail, and pork, they are all very good. It also stands up well to grilled and barbequed meat, and foods with heavy spices, such as curry.

If you would like to explore options for vegetarians, then you can use vegetables that have strong flavors, like beet, onions, red peppers, and roasted tomato. For cheese, choose ones that are rich in their taste but also hard.  The best options would be Swiss, Muenster, aged cheddar, and Pecorino Romano.

How to select the best zinfandel wines

Check the ABV (Alcohol by volume)

The general rule to go by is checking the percentage of ABV. Lighter wines will have about 13.5 percent, while stronger wines will have 16% alcohol content.

Where is the best Zinfandel coming from?

California has several regions that produce the best Zinfandel wines. The most common regions are Dry Creek valley, Lodi, Napa valley, and the Russian river valley.

Best tip – look for wines coming from high elevation areas

This may seem insignificant, but it actually makes a difference. Look for those that come from areas such as El Dorado and Howell Mountain, as they have a taste that is more bold and rich.

Final thoughts

Zinfandel is a wine that is worth exploring, as it is offers you something different from what the usual wines will give.