2013 Haraszthy Amador County Zinfandel

Vineyard: Haraszthy’s Amador County Location

Variety: Zinfandel

Cost: $17

Region: California

Food Pairing Suggestions: Smoked chicken, salmon, cornbread with chili, bacon

My Tasting Notes: Raspberry, peppercorns, juicy blackberry, orange peel, vanilla beans, a hint of tobacco

Sponsored Post: No

Last weekend was another lovely weekend where summer seemed to mingle in with fall. Leaves are beginning to turn gold while magnolia blooms are lingering on. I pulled out the large Dutch oven and made a pot of white chili with pieces of grilled chicken and a kick of spice. No specific recipe, just using what ever ingredients happen to be on hand. We had hot apple cider simmering on the stove for Shelby and a spread with smoked bacon and pepper jam.

Our wine of choice was this particular bottle of Haraszthy’s Zinfandel which is widely available. John and I bought it per recommendation from a wine store owner who specifically recommended the 2013 from Amador County. It works well to sip on its own or to pair with a large pot of chili or stew.

I loved the spicy yet juicy sweet balance of this wine, a prevalent note of raspberry and freshly ground peppercorns, subtle undertones of juicy blackberries, orange peel and vanilla beans.

Zinfandel is a great wine to start with for a wine beginner. This bottle in particular is delightful because of the easily recognizable tasting notes. Try tasting a few different Zinfandels from California and see what a wide array of taste is represented from grapes grown only miles apart from each other. The featured winery’s namesake sums up the appeal of Zinfandel wine below:

“Zin is a chameleon. It changes with terroir and other conditions. We’ve got Zin from Lodi, Amador, Sonoma, Howell Mountain, Stag’s Leap…They’re all Zins, but the taste is different. Each has a different spice rack driven by clonal selection and the site itself—the soil, the sun, the wind and dirt. Even a wine novice can pick it up. It’s right in your face.”

—Val Haraszthy

If you are interested in learning the basics of Zinfandel, I recommend this article that provides an overview of Zin.