Tag Archives: Zinfandel

“U-S-A … U-S-A …”

One of my favourite sayings that I like using out of context is “When in Rome …”.  I only think I know what this means.  I do know that when I am visiting the North American country below Canada I drink American wines almost exclusively.

If you haven’t had a Zinfandel recently [like since when you stole a sip of your Grandmother's pink Zin back in the early 70's] then you should get out and try one.  The one below is 44% Zinfandel, 39% Shiraz, 9% Petite Syrah [another of my favourite American grape varietals], and 8% CabSav.

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Vigilance Winery “2011 Cimarron”

If you are in Ontario – go to the LCBO and try the Sledgehammer or Cline Zinfandels this holiday season – you know, in the spirit of Canadian / American brotherly love.


An offer I couldn’t refuse

March 15, 1972 marked the release of The Godfather – the touchstone movie by Francis Ford Coppola. As a tribute to its 40th anniversary I went in search of more Italian-American classics to bring to a party. This is what I found.

Primitivo (Italian) and Zinfandel (American) are actually the same grape.  Science proved itself useful again when DNA testing verified that just a few years ago – so I brought a Primitivo and two Zins to a party. By the way, Zinfandel is NOT your grandmother’s pink Zinfandel that she sipped with an ice-cube in the glass (although that’s perfectly acceptable behaviour if you’re a grandmother) – today’s Zinfandel is a great red wine that can be big and powerful like Don Corleone.

I have always liked the Cline Zinfandel but the Luccarelli Primitivo stole the show.  Rustic and bold, everyone liked this wine that cost less than $10.  The Sledgehammer was really good too – a nice combination of the more refined Cline Zin with the boldness of the Primitivo – and every bit worth the $18 price tag. However, I’ve already gone back and bought more Luccarelli simply because of the value. Let’s just say it made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.

LUCCARELLI PRIMITIVO PUGLIA IGT
Italy |  LCBO 253856 |  $ 9.70


Zin – give it props

“Zin-fandel, Zin-fandel” (sung to the tune of Edelweiss).  Now my wife is mad at me because she will have that song stuck in her head all day.  Probably because I will keep singing it all day – a trait I inherited from my Mother.

I am in America for March Break  (holy days for teachers) and I am committed to the great American grape – Zinfandel.  Of course not the white Zinfandel wine that your grandmother drank – this is serious yet relatively simple red wine.

In my opinion Zin is the American wine.  When I come to PA to visit my in-laws I always drink American and often drink Zin.  For my Italian readers, it has been recently discovered that Zinfandel and Primitivo are the same grape – discoveries like that make DNA decoding worthwhile don’t they? Also, it’s the same grape as the Croatian grape  Crljenak Kaštelansk, but seriously, when was the last time you asked for a “Crljenak” at a wine bar?

The style of Zin ranges from light Beaujolais to age-worthy Claret and in price from $6 (Barefoot Zinfandel) to $20 (Cardinal Zin).  My favorite in the LCBO is  Cline. Go out and get a bottle – help rid the world of white Zinfandel stereotypes and ask your favorite Croatian how to pronounce Crljenak for me.

CLINE ZINFANDEL
LCBO 489278 | Price: $ 13.25
14.0% Alcohol/Vol.


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