Zesty Zinfandel for the New Year

Low-alcohol and no-alcohol spritzers and wines seem to be the rage this “dry January.” But the concept of going dry for a month would mean not enjoying everything in moderation to start with. Of course, we indulged a bit during the holidays. But, ruling out alcohol for a month may result in hitting it extra hard when the clock strikes 12am on February first.

Instead, we suggest enjoying a glass as you would any other day of the year, savoring aromas and flavors, recognizing the beauty of the juice in the bottle, even the juice with some of the highest alcohol percentages like a Zinfandel. Ripe, fruit-forward, and jammy, a well-made bottle of Zinfandel is perfect for warming you through cold winter evenings, pairing especially well with hearty stews, grilled meats, and barbecue. Here are a few to consider sipping this January.

Thacher Vineyard and Winery Triumvirate Reserve Zinfandel is a tiny production selection with less than 400 cases made from a mix of Paso Robles vineyards. While the wine brings in classic Zin notes of blackberry, ripe marionberry, and cherry, earthy notes of black tea, crushed chamomile, and wild sage linger through the persistent, delicious palate. Bright and fresh, with zesty acidity that keeps the palate fresh, followed by the power of spice and fruit expected from Zinfandel. It is a delicious wine any time of year.

Spanning 300 acres across Paso Robles, Opolo Vineyards crafts expressive, varietally correct wines with character, including their Mountain Zinfandel. Lush and juicy, layering wild blackberry, blueberry pie, and pepper spice, the rich wine showcases the sun-ripened fruit in a textured and highly concentrated wine.

 Expressive and bold, Rombauer Zinfandel blends ripe red and black fruits, including cherry, berry, plum, toasted oak, and spice from 15 months of aging in American and French oak. The oak brings dark chocolate and coconut notes to the wine, mingling with crushed black pepper, nutmeg, and clove. A tasty wine to enjoy with brisket or perfectly seared ribeye steaks.

With a focus on Mother Earth, and low-intervention winemaking, Head High Zinfandel showcases the delicate edge Zin can have, bringing earthy forest floor and crushed stone notes to the brambly blackberry, dried fig and plum, and ripe cherry flavors. Subtle notes of black tea, cola, and spice emerge on the finish of the wine, with a welcoming note of crushed pepper and allspice.