Medium for March
Story by Sarah Murphy Robertson
It is said the month of March is “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” Seems here on 30A, one day Spring has arrived and the next a cold front keeps winter temps around a bit longer. So what is a good wine to sip on during these in-between seasons? I find myself in favor of a medium bodied red like Zinfandel.
Lest you are confused, I don’t mean White Zinfandels (a sweeter blush-style wine that became popular in the United States in the 198os.) I’m talking about the juicy red varietal with “jammy” flavors such as raspberry or strawberry and frequent finishing notes of smoke and spice. While not native to the United States, California has embraced this grape and Zinfandel wines are produced in 10% of the state’s vineyards. Another great bonus to serving Zinfandel? Their food-friendliness of course. Below are a few we’d recommend enjoying on cooler March nights.
The 2012 Zinfandelic Old Vine Zinfandel from the Sierra Foothills has a great conversation starter: its fun label reminiscent of 1960s rock posters! But more importantly. this wine has wonderful balance: highlighting bright berry and cherry fruit and finishing with zingy acidity. It would pair well with smokey, barbequed meats like your favorite cut of beef.
Next we suggest trying the Bonterra Zinfandel from 2012. With aromas of blueberry and black pepper, and cherry on the palate, this wine is medium bodied and finishes with a kick of spice. Try serving this wine with a starter course of cured meats and Spanish sheep’s milk cheese like Manchego.
The 2013 Francis Ford Coppola “Director’s Cut” Zinfandel is actually blended with Petite Sirah grapes to add structure to the wine. You’ll experience blackberry and cherry on the nose and then complex notes of mocha, licorice, anise and raspberry on the palate. This wine will marry well with bold flavors. Try it with a spice-rubbed leg of lamb encrusted with rosemary and garlic and let us know what you think.