The Zinfandel grape

The Zinfandel grape might have the most complicated and controversial history of any variety. Some say it’s the same grape as Italy’s Primitivo while others say it descended from Croatia. What most agree on is that the black-skinned grape is California’s grape. It was introduced to the state during the Gold Rush and was extremely popular until Prohibition when nearly all of the vines were pulled.

Today, the grape is making a comeback because of its boldness and high alcohol percentage, often ranging from 14 to 17 percent. California-style Zin is more even with big jammy flavors that soften the hot alcohol finish.

How to serve Zinfandel

To serve Zinfandel target 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Room temperature allows the wine to open up making it more approachable to drink; though some people are starting to serve it chilled based on personal preference. Parrish Family Vineyard produces a Zinfandel with notes of raspberries, pomegranates, and cranberries with touches of sweet cherry candy. It isn’t high in sugar or alcohol allowing it to be well balanced and complex. We like Zins that are more fruit forward blending freshness with a hint of tobacco. To serve it at its best, the recommendation is to drink within five years or less of the vintage to capture the fruit.

Zinfandel Food Pairing

Zinfandel food pairing can be an adventure because of the varietal’s spiciness or fruitiness based on the winemaker’s style. This California classic wine can stand up to heavy barbeque sauces, ribs, pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, lamb and steak. If you can grill it, you can pair it! All try smoked meats, as well as hard and soft cheeses. We like it paired with chocolate to bring an extra creaminess and calmness to the wine.