This week I was on a mission to revisit types of grapes that I had at some point in my life decided were not to my taste. One such wine on my dislike list is Zinfandel. I’ve only ever had a few, and I can’t even remember which specific brands, but for some reason I’ve avoided Zinfandel for years. It doesn’t really seem fair to write off an entire selection of wines from a few bad experiences, so that is how I found myself at the grocery store recently trying to decide which lucky bottle was going to redeem the entire Zinfandel name for me.
After about fifteen minutes (hubby, knowing my indecisiveness, usually leaves me alone in the wine aisle and continues shopping) had it narrowed down to two bottles. One appeared serious and “respectable,” the other boasted a cheesy moniker on a faux-burnt label: The Seven Deadly Zins 2012 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel. It was so corny looking that it couldn’t be legit– so of course that’s the bottle I picked. Priced at $12, it wouldn’t be a huge loss if it turned out to indeed be terrible.
An intense ruby, almost blood red color in the glass, it was actually a very attractive wine. I took a whiff before I tasted any– it smelled pleasant enough. First sip– “Oh!” I think I actually said that out loud. It was full of deep, complex flavors and I really liked it. Subsequent sips (or gulps) only solidified my happy surprise. There’s plenty of smooth, jammy fruit: ripe cherries, blackberries, and plums. There is a dose of warm vanilla and cinnamon, balanced by a hint of the spicy burn of black pepper. A little earthy leather rounds out the palate.
It is still a bit difficult for me to look past the kitschy bottle and name, and maybe it’s not what you’d give the boss as a meant-to-impress Christmas present. However, it is a really tasty wine and I would absolutely buy it again to enjoy in my home or to take to the rare, but much-needed “Girls’ Night.” And really, for $12 you can call it whatever you want as long as it’s good!