While here at Rombauer, we celebrate Zinfandel every day, November 17th is known as International Zinfandel Day. So today, we raise a glass extra high of our favorite red wine!
Join us in jamming with this bold and beautiful wine that has a story for every sip and a flavor for every feast.
Our Hero’s Origin Story
The Zinfandel grape has a history as complex as its flavors. While the exact origins of Zinfandel were long debated, DNA fingerprinting has traced its roots back to Croatia, under its original name “Crljenak Kaštelanski.” It made its way to Italy in the 1700s, where it became known as Primitivo, the third most planted variety in Puglia, in southern Italy.
The grape made a transatlantic voyage in the 1820s, finding a home in the Northeastern United States where it became known as “Zinfandel” and was grown in hothouses for table wine. The first cuttings of Zinfandel were brought to California in the early 1850s. The oldest zinfandel vines in the state, in Amador County, are 154 years old.
Wink, Wink… Drink, Drink
The 1920s Prohibition could have been the end for many wine varietals, but Zinfandel was not to be relegated to the annals of history. Resourceful vineyard owners sold “bricks” of compressed dehydrated Zinfandel grapes that could be dissolved in water to create grape juice. However, the bricks included a “warning” that, should you leave the reconstituted jug in a cool cupboard for 21 days, it just might turn into wine. The ruse kept the vineyards thriving and allowed wine lovers to secretly sip through America’s dry era.
A Foodie’s Best Friend
Expressive fruit, hints of spice, moderate tannin, and high acidity make Zinfandel an excellent partner for a variety of dishes. Here’s how to bring out the best in your bottle:
– Meat Your Match: The bold flavors of Zinfandel can stand up to the intensity of smoked and barbecued meats and hearty stews, while its fruitiness and acidity sing with rich tomato-based Italian dishes like lasagna or pasta bolognese. Of course, its bright berry flavors also make it a marvelous mate for your Thanksgiving turkey and a side of cranberry sauce.
– Cheese, Please: A well-designed cheese board really shows off Zinfandel’s range. Pair it with aged cheddar, smoked Gouda, Gorgonzola, and Manchego for an action-packed palate.
– The Veggie Victor: Zinfandel’s versatility shines with grilled or roasted vegetables and dishes with earthy flavors like charred eggplant and lentils. A meatless favorite? Barbecue baked beans!
Five Rea-zins to Explore Rombauer Zinfandel
We craft five distinctive, expressive Zins from some of California’s oldest and most revered vineyards — to include a Zinfandel Club member-exclusive. Discover our full Zinfandel Collection today!