The 30 Second Wine Advisor

Wine Focus: Zinfandel and its cousins

Zinfandel! Call it Zin for short, or Primitivo, Tribidrag, Crljenak Kaštelanski, Plavac Mali … This remarkable grape found its way from Croatia to Italy and America (and, nowadays, on to Australia and beyond). It comes in a variety of styles, although “big fruit with big alcohol” may be most common.

Each month The California Wine Club travels the dusty back roads of wine country seeking out small California wineries passionate about the art of winemaking. The California Wine Club hand-selects the very best of the award-winning wines they discover and then shares them with their members.

Whether you love Zin for its march to the beat of a different drummer, or approach it with skepticism because it’s so at odds with classic European styles, we hope you’ll take a moment this month to open a bottle or two, share your thoughts in our WineLovers Forum’s “Wine Focus,” and – especially – alert us to the exceptional bottles and the great values.

Long considered a “mystery grape” because its ancestry was lost, perhaps clouded by the 19th century Barnum-style hype troweled on by Agoston Haraszthy, Zin his recently been reunited with its ancestors thanks to dogged research and DNA detective work in recent years by Dr. Carole Meredith and others.

Want to read more? Here’s a good article in English from a Croatian wine site that sums up in fairly simple terms the search to pin down Zin’s historic ancestry.

What’s your take on Zin? Once you’ve opened a Zin or two, you’re invited to click over to Wine Focus and read and participate in the conversation. You can read the forum without registering, but if you’d like to participate in our conversations, you can quickly and easily log in via Facebook, using the “Social Login” button at the upper right corner of any forum page.

The 30 Second Wine Advisor

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