I went through a pinot grigio phase, then a malbec phase, and now I am solidly in a zinfandel phase. To my particular palate, these wines have deep berry flavors with just enough tannins to make things interesting. They're less jammy than merlots and not quite as dark and broody as pinot noirs. They are my Goldilocks wine: just right.
This zinfandel from Cline Cellars has become a favorite. At around $8 a bottle, it is fine for an average weeknight dinner, but it's also good enough that I feel totally confident bringing it to a party. If you pushed me to describe its flavor, I'd say it tastes like cherries and blackberries, a bit of spice, and maybe (maybe?) some vanilla. But if you didn't push me, I'd just tell you that it tastes good. Smooth, uncomplicated but still complex, and just solidly good.
This is actually only one of the zinfandels in my on-going rotation. Here are my favorites:
• Zinfandel from Cline Cellars, $8 • Old Vine Zinfandel from Gnarly Head, $11 • Old Vine Zinfandel from Bogle Vineyards, $9
Like zins? Which ones are you drinking right now?
(Image: Emma Christensen)