Before my wine course, I thought Zinfandel can only make those sickly sweet rose wines. Actually, Zinfandel is a type of black grape grown mostly in California. It's capable of making all types of wines and can be made into amazing dry red wines that is full bodied, high alcohol with black fruit, dried fruit, sweet spice note. Another cool fact is that a few vineyard have grape vines over 100 years old, and these "trees" produce only a few grapes that are very intense in flavour. Ever since I learn about this, I have been looking to acquire a few bottles for collection. I believe Napa and Sonoma County produces the best Zinfandel.
Gallo Family Vineyards White Zinfandel, California, USA 2008 $7.00
This is what people usually associate Zinfandel with. I drank this at the blind tasting for my class, but I usually would never drink any foreign wine under $10. Wines, like any other food, when it is too cheap, you have to wonder what else is in the wine. This wine is jammy, low acidity, medium sweet, light bodied, and kind of tastes like kool'aid. This is an "acceptable" wine to drink, but not "good" or "spectacular" (what you would expect for $7.00). I drank Zins when I first started drinking wine, and it's a pretty good wine to start with for children as well. Better quality white Zinfandels is more refreshing, balanced, and intense. I would pair this wine with light sweet desserts but not cheese cakes.
Caymus Vineyards Zinfandel Napa Valley, California, USA 2006, $46.00
This is the first red Zinfadel I have ever tried and what a wonderful surprise! It is full bodied, 15.5% alcohol, intense complex aroma of plum, flower, and raisin, dry, mild tannin. It also has a nice spice to it, which is the signature of red Zinfandel. Overall, it is a balanced and outstanding wine.