What You Need To Know About Red Zinfandel

Zinfandel or red zin is basically a black color wine grape that originates from Croatia. Typically, these grapes produce red wine. In the United States, a rose wine known as White Zinfandel is much more popular than the red Zinfandel.

The zinfandel red wine taste changes according to how ripe the grapes are. Zinfandel grows widely across the United States and primarily in California. They grow well in warm climates. If the weather is too hot, grapes tend to shrink or shrivel.

The grapes have thin skin and can rot easily. The grapes usually ripen unevenly. This means one bunch of grapes can have both ripened and unripened grapes together. The grapes that are not ripe enough help to keep the juicy acidity and the overripe grapes add jammy, fruity flavoring. The process of harvesting these grapes is a laborious process, which is why Zinfandel wines are pretty expensive.

Red Zinfandel wine has been accused of having too much alcohol content. In fact, it has the highest alcohol content among red wines in the world. This content ranges from 14 to 17 %. The flavor of the Zinfandel wine is determined by the length of the fermentation process, duration of the maceration time with contact with skin, how much the ask has aged, as well as the degrees Brix of the grapes that have been harvested. Zinfandel is full-bodied and robust. The flavors they have are pepper, spice, and berry.

What Is The Origin Of The Zinfandel Grape?

It is an old grape that first originated from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, where it is known as tribidrag. Grapevine scientists found out about the origins of the grape back in the early years of the 2000s. It was also discovered that these grapes are grown in California as well as Croatia are genetically similar to the Primitivo grape in Puglia.

What Foods Can You Pair Zinfandel With?

·        Curry spices

Since Red Zinfandel is sweet, it goes well with spiced barbecue and curries.

·        Pork tonkatsu

This is a dish from Japan that is served along with a rich spiced curry. This dish pairs well with Zinfandel wine.

·        Pairing with meat

Zinfandel pairs very well with Barbequed red meats as well as lamb. It also goes well with light meats like turkey, quail, pork, ham, bacon, as well as veal.

·        Herbs and spices

Zinfandel pairs well with herbs and spices such as rosemary, ginger, garlic, black pepper, cocoa, fennel, coriander, saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, and curry.

·        Cheese

Yes, you cannot go wrong with wine and cheese. Cheeses like Manchego, Bandage wrapped cheddar, as well as Trentingrana that is hard as well as rich cheeses are made from sheep and cow milk.

·        Vegetables

Using high flavored vegetable helps in bringing out the fruity flavor of Zinfandel wine. Vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, roasted squash, peach, spiced apples, caramelized onions, and apricots are great when paired with Zinfandel.  

What To Look Out For When Buying Zinfandel?

·        Look out for the ABV

Knowing the Alcohol by volume or ABV is a great way to buy your preferred Zinfandel wine. If you want Zinfandel wine that is lighter, you should go for 13.5 % ABV. If you prefer bold Zinfandel, you should opt for 16 % ABV.

·        Know who makes the best kind of Zinfandel

You need to be aware of who makes the best Zinfandel around. The most popular places in California that make the best Zinfandel are Dry creek valley, Napa-valley, Lodi, and the Russian river valley.

·        Look out for high elevation areas.

Look out for Zinfandel wines from areas of higher elevation like Howell mountain as well as El Dorado County. The wines from these places will be much tastier than those from lower altitudes. This is because high altitude Zinfandel wines have a great intensity as well as richness.

The Characteristics Of Red Zinfandel

·        Fruit flavors

This is the only kind of red wine that offers multiple fruit flavors in one glass. The flavors are raspberry, blackberry, jammy or brambly fruit, cranberry jam, raisin, apricot, fig, black cherry, black plum, and black currant.

·        Aromas

Star anise, licorice, black pepper, black cardamom, as well as smoke.

·        Oak flavoring

These flavors are added using oak aging

Coconut, vanilla, peach yogurt, nutmeg, burnt sugar, mocha, cinnamon, coffee, tobacco, clove, as well as fresh sawdust.

The Acidity level Of Zinfandel red wine

The acidity of Zinfandel red wine ranges from medium to medium-high.


The chemical tannins that are present in this wine range from medium to medium-high.

Serving temperature of this wine

The temperature at which this wine is to be served is at room temperature. That is 62 degrees Fahrenheit or 17 degrees Celsius.

What Can One Blend Zinfandel Red Wine With?

You can blend this wine with Cabernet Sauvignon to make a Californian red wine. In Italy, people blend Zinfandel red wine with Negroamaro, which is a Puglia grape.

What Is Old Vine Zin?

These are the most popular types of Zinfandel red wines. These wines are produced from grapes in California, on vines that are at least 50 years old. These wines are known to be greater in flavor when compared to the produce from younger vines. They are of more premium quality. This is why Old vine Zinfandel demands a greater price.

Summing Up

Zinfandel red wines are a classic California wine that has fruity flavors, high alcohol content, and contain some amount of residual sugar. Red zin is either unoaked or oaked. Zinfandel can also be blended along with other grapes to increase body and tannin.

Zinfandel wine makes a medium-bodied juicy wine. It offers ease of drinking due to fewer tannins. But it can also be blended with other mixed black California grapes such as grenache, carignan, as well as petite sirah. As mentioned Zinfandel can undergo oak aging, which leads to adding spicy flavoring such as nutmeg and cinnamon, all the while maintaining the fruity flavors of the wine. 

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