Tag Archives: Wine

Is Organic Wine Worth it?

Red and white wine

A new trend in the world of wine that seems to be gaining some traction is organic wines. Purported as healthier and better-tasting, these are wines that are made from grapes on which pesticides are never used. Proponents claim the flavor is better, you don’t get hangovers, and that they’re better for you

Naturally, this idea intrigues us at Vine Vera. We’re big fans of wine in general, so if there’s really a way to make wine that yields hangover-free, better-tasting, and healthier wine, we’ll be all for it. That said, these supposed benefits are attached to a very hefty price tag compared to their non-organic counterparts, and said benefits are mostly speculative, and far from proven. As such, Vine Vera decided to do some digging so we could share our thoughts on whether or not organic wine is really worth it.

Alleged Health Benefits
Pesticides are good for killing pests, but they’re not necessarily good for humans to consume, as you might imagine. While specifically formulated to kill insects and weeds, not people, they often contain neurotoxins, which can kill anything with a nervous system (and we humans definitely have one of those), but they rely on the fact that smaller, less neurologically complex creatures won’t need as much of them to kill. Add to that the fact that grapes are generally washed thoroughly before being made into wine, and pesticide use on grapes (or any other crop for that matter) is generally considered perfectly safe.

However, proponents of organic wine, and organic agriculture in general, believe that even tiny trace amounts of pesticide can remain and cause harm. That said, studies have shown that even when pesticide particles remain present in wine before fermentation, they’re gone after fermentation; presumably metabolized by the microbes that make fermentation happen. In other words, there is virtually no health benefit whatsoever from organic wine, because non-organic wine doesn’t actually retain pesticide particles in the final product, and even if it did, it’s unlikely they would cause actual harm at such low concentrations.

The other claim by organic wine enthusiasts is that it just tastes better. In theory this sounds wonderful, but the claims start to break down when people try to explain why, exactly, organic wine would really taste any better (especially when you consider the point we made above regarding studies showing no pesticide particles remaining in the final product with non-organic wine).

Further, seasoned wine experts have attempted many times to identify organic and non-organic wines in blind taste tests, and they’re generally unsuccessful, with overall success rates for blind tests being just about identical to random chance odds.

The Verdict
While it’s theoretically possible that new evidence will surface at some point that runs counter to the current body of knowledge and validates the claims about organic wine, it’s quite clear from everything we know now that there’s really no reason to believe organic wine is any better than non-organic wine regarding health benefits, taste, or really anything else. So next time you’re eyeing an organic and non-organic version of your favorite varietal, and you’re asking yourself if the organic one is worth the inflated price, Vine Vera suggests you just save some money and grab the non-organic.

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Droughts Threaten California Wine

California vineyard

Droughts are never really a good thing. They threaten the viability of crops and potentially cripple agriculture, threaten to make the water running to your home—which you rely on to shower, water your lawn, and of course, drink to stay alive—at best, incredibly expensive, and at worst, nonexistent.

But the potential damage of droughts goes beyond that. As if threatening to damage the very foundation of society by interrupting food and water supplies—things we’ve no doubt you don’t need Vine Vera to remind you is essential to human life—weren’t enough, droughts also have a way of crippling access to some of the finer things in life.

To be more specific, the current drought in California has been threatening to devastate the production of Californian wines. You can’t make wine from dead grape vines, after all, and to keep the vines alive, wine makers have to adapt to unfavorable pruning schedules, which can greatly cut into production. If you consider the fact that the iconic Napa valley, in addition to several other wine regions and wineries scattered all over the state, is located in California, it’s easy to see why this development could be problematic for the wider world of wine, as it would deprive us of a selection of delectable wines—such as Californian vineyards’ take on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Pinot Noir, among others—that just so happen to be made within the state’s borders.

The Bad News
The main problem with the droughts isn’t that thousands of vineyards are now host to dead vines; winemakers are pretty good at keeping their plants alive. The problem, though, stems from the measures said winemakers have to resort to in order to keep their vines alive. With the current drought, vines have had to be cut sooner than usual, and on a shorter schedule, which means fewer grapes are harvested overall, and less wine made.

Many winemakers do have access to underground aquifers that can keep them in business for now, so there isn’t a massive wine shortage…yet. The main issue is that winemakers have two choices: they can use 100% of the water they normally would now, but risk running out of their reserve next year or the year after that (remember, we’re not sure just how long this drought may last) or cut back on water, and see a smaller yield as a result. Either way, the industry suffers, and we ultimately see less wine, either now or later.

The Good News
Wait, there’s good news? Actually, yes, there is. While it may be just a thin silver lining on rather big problem, it turns out that the drought actually has produced a positive effect on wine taste and complexity for some winemakers. Apparently, less water resulting in smaller grapes can mean the grapes will be more densely packed with sugar and more flavorful in general, producing a superior, more nuanced and rich wine.

However, the problem remains that winemakers won’t be able to make very much of this wine, even if it does taste better. Rather than some vineyards choosing to make a small quantity of a higher quality wine, most Californian vineyards are being forced to do so, and better taste or not, it does paint a grim image of the future of Californian wine, and we could see rising prices in response to less availability soon enough.

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Is Canned Wine Happening Now?

If the thought of wine conjures to mind tall, smooth, colored glass bottles, corkscrews and the pop of the cork when it comes out, elegant, stemmed glass goblets, and the swirling of red, pink, or pale yellow liquid before taking a sip, you’re probably not alone. Bottled wine, and the pouring it into glass goblets, has been a time honored staple of the practice of drinking wine.

And to be sure, it’s certainly an elegant way to do things, but let’s be honest, it’s really not very convenient. It’s fine if you’re in the house (and don’t mind fiddling with a corkscrew and having glasses to wash later), but it’s not terribly conducive to travel. If you want to take wine with you on a camping trip, to a picnic, or any other number of places, needing bottles, corkscrews, and glasses, can be a big hindrance.

Woman drinking drink from a can

Enter Canned Wine
Drinking wine out of aluminum cans might not seem terribly classy, but that’s exactly what a variety of wine companies have been encouraging. A number of wineries, such as Underwood wines by Union Wine Co, have been packaging their finest wines in the same kind of tall aluminum cans you’d expect to see energy drinks or beer be housed in.

Lifestyle Options
Having your favorite wines in a can opens up a whole new world of possibilities for various lifestyle options, because suddenly, your wine is much easier to transport. Heading out for a skiing trip and want to be able to relax and unwind with some wine when you’re all done? Heading for a relaxing day at the beach? Going out for an evening picnic? Camping trip? Even backpacking deep into a mountain trail? Canned wine will easily allow you to take your wine with you without hassle.

Woman drinking red wine.

Quality and Taste
You might expect canned wine to taste cheap, unsatisfying, and not nearly as complex or tasty as bottled wine, but as it turns out, in many cases even the wine makers themselves can’t tell the difference between their canned wines and bottled wines in a blind taste test!

No Pretense
Besides convenience and facilitating options that conform to a variety of lifestyles, the other big aim of the concept of canned wine is to remove the pretense that surrounds drinking wine. The idea here is that there’s a lot of unnecessary pretense that is part of the typical wine drinking experience, but not actually needed to enjoy a tasty wine. Popping corks and swirling goblets is great if you like it (and you can easily still do the latter by pouring canned wine into a glass), but it can be irritating and feel forced and pointless if you just want to get right to the delicious wine you’ve been craving.

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Drink More Argentine Malbecs, Here’s Why

Malbec is a varietal of wine grape originating in France, which is currently all the rage in the U.S. and even across the globe. It’s been compared to Merlot, but with a spicy bit of character that makes it unique. It’s full-bodied and rich while maintaining high drinkability; it pleases a variety of palates (making it a wine of choice when serving red wine to a large crowd) and goes well with an enormous variety of foods, and is also great and easy to drink on its own. It had been made in the Cahors region of France for some time before becoming well-known to the rest of the world. Eventually, Argentine winemakers brought cuttings back to their homeland, where the vine thrived and took off. Today, Malbec is quite possibly the most popular wine varietal in the U.S., and it enjoys large consumption around the world as well, despite being unheard of ten years ago.

It’s no secret that Vine Vera loves red wine, and we love talking about and recommending it. Today, we’re going to focus on Malbec wines from Mendoza, Argentina: the area that first popularized the varietal. We’ll talk about taste, uniqueness, and other facts about Argentine Malbecs that will make you not only want to give them a try, but to have a lot more of them in your life.

Glass of wine and cheese

Why Argentine Malbec?
There are two major areas in the world where the Malbec grape is grown and made into wine: Cahors, France and Mendoza, Argentina. Since Malbec’s explosion in popularity, vineyards outside of these regions that make the stuff have been popping up here and there, but Cahors and Mendoza are the most significant producers of the wine.

Cahors may have been the genesis of Malbec wine, but today we’re looking at Argentine Malbecs because it was Argentine soil that really let these grapes shine. To be fair, both French and Argentine Malbecs are delicious in different ways, but today we’re looking at Argentina.

Malbec Characteristics
Malbec is a tasty red wine that comfortably sits in the envied position of being both rich and full-bodied while also being surprisingly smooth and easy to drink—with or without food. Full of dark red fruit flavors and a pleasant bite of spice with a smooth, silky finish, it’s no wonder this wine enjoys such great popularity.

Grapes in a vineyard

What’s Unique to Argentine Malbecs
As with many wine varietals, Malbec can have a fair deal of variation from one climate to another. Malbecs from Argentina tend to have an interesting and complex palate with strong blackberry and plum flavors, as well as notes of black cherry, cocoa powder, milk chocolate,leather, violet flowers, and sometimes a sweet tobacco taste on the finish, though this depends on the amount of oak aging.

Malbec wines also vary a bit within Argentina depending on the region. The general profile remains the same, but the level of intensity of certain flavors can vary slightly. For instance, warm-climate Mendozan Malbec has the strong blackberry and plum tastes with a hint of black cherry as described above, but cooler regions like Patagonia, Argentina, tend to produce wines with a heavier emphasis on the black cherry taste, with the blackberry and plum coming second. Essentially, Argentine Malbecs will be delicious, complex, fruity and spicy, but different Argentine areas produce slightly different balances of the core flavors of blackberry, plum, cherry, chocolate, violet, and leather.

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Our Favorite Merlots

One of the best things about Merlot, besides its combination of robustness and approachability, and its ability to be paired with almost any food, is its incredible amount of variety that exists within the scope of various Merlot wines. Different climates and regions can produce very different tastes in this particular varietal—Merlot often referred to as a “chameleon” among wines because of this, since Merlot grown in various climates can mimic other varietals’ flavor profiles—meaning it’s quite versatile, and just because you’ve had a couple Merlots doesn’t mean you’ve anywhere near experienced all the wine has to offer.

On that note, Vine Vera has elected to, today, share with you some of our own favorite Merlots with you, so you yourself can experience everything the varietal has to offer.

Wine bottles in a row

From California
Beringer Vineyards: Beringer’s Napa Valley is above average in quality, giving you the usual taste profile of a rich Merlot with character. They also make a Merlot called Founders Estate that’s much simpler and more approachable, but still quite tasty.

Chateau St. Jean: This winery’s Merlot Sonoma County is very bold and well-rounded, with cherry notes being prominent, in addition to hints of more unusual flavors including herbs and even leather.

Rodney Strong Vineyards: Rodney Strong is world-class, and spans a great number of vineyards. Their Sonoma County Merlot boasts rather soft tannins, easy drinkability, and a very fruity profile.

From Washington
Chateau Ste. Michelle: Considered one of the top wineries in the stat of Washington, their Columbia Valley Merlot is produced from a blend of grapes from vineyards all over the valley. It’s light and fruity, making it very easy to drink, while still having the richness of any good Merlot.

Hogue Cellars: Incredibly inexpensive while maintaining quality, and managing to be above-average, Hogue’s Merlot is supple, well-defined, fruity, and a deep, balanced character overall.

From Toscana, Italy
Masseto: This 17-acre vineyard produces a merlot that has especially powerful fruit flavors, with blackberry and cherry featuring quite prominently. You’re also likely to pick up strong notes of chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Tannins are quite soft and smooth, and the finish is smooth yet powerful and satisfying.

Messorio: This Merlot is very much characteristic of the varietal, and boasts all the hallmarks in strong, robust capacity. Soft but rich with a hugely complex flavor profile, this Merlot is not a wine you’re likely to soon forget.

From Bordeaux, France
92 Chateau Nenin Pomerol: Light in Character, yet still retains the opulence associated with a quality Merlot. Very fresh, with blackberry notes being the strongest here by far, with an overall very powerful, yet smooth flavor.

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Wine Faux Pas to Avoid

Drinking wine is usually a pretty enjoyable affair if you like the stuff (as many people do). Wine has a rich variety of flavor profiles available with the many varietals that exist. It goes great with food, a glass or two can give you a nice mild alcohol buzz, and hey, a glass a day of red wine is actually good for you! Not only good for your general health, but good for your skin, and good for aging well. It’s the reason Vine Vera uses resveratrol—one of the main ingredients that makes red wine good for you and your skin—in our own skincare collections, and themes many of those collections after various wine varietals, after all.

So yes, wine is pretty great, but ask yourself, do you know if you’re getting the most out of it? Are you being sure you actually savor and enjoy it, or are you falling into the trap of the various wine faux pas that can keep you from truly tasting your wine to its fullest? If you’re not sure, read on and find out, because we’re about to list some of the biggest wine faux pas, and how to avoid them.

Woman tasting red wine

Being Pretentious
It’s one thing to take your wine seriously and really savor it, but it’s quite another to put on unnecessary airs and scoff at people who don’t know all the right terms, or who don’t conform to arbitrary and snobbish rules (not to be confused with the rules on this list, which are intended to actually maximize your enjoyment of the wine). Being a snob towards someone who isn’t able to tell certain varietals apart, or uses their own descriptive language to describe the taste in a way that sounds “wrong” to you doesn’t actually help anyone. It just makes the other person feel bad and makes you look like a judgmental ass.

Red wine by the fire.

Heating Red Wine with A Radiator (or Any Other Fast Heating Method)
Unlike your average white, most red wines, with some exceptions, are better served at or just under room temperature, rather than excessively chilled. However, you will find that some methods of heating up red wine are better than others, and any method that changes the temperature too rapidly, like setting it on a radiator, is likely to damage the wine irreparably, taking away a lot of complexity and robustness from the flavor profile. It’s much better to just let the red wine gradually come closer to room temperature by setting it out on the counter an hour or so before you plan to open and drink it.

Woman holding a wine glass

Holding Wine Glasses by the Bowl
Now, to be clear, it would be very pretentious to “enforce” this rule on others, and it’s only a rule of thumb, which has exceptions. However, by and large, if you wine is served at a temperature that best suits that varietal, you want to do your best to make sure it stays at or around that temperature the whole time it’s in your glass, from the first sip to the last. Grasping the glass by the bowl will warm the wine over time, so don’t do it unless the wine was definitely served too cold.

Sangria pitcher

Putting Ice in Wine
This rule is not hard and fast, and you can break it if you feel the need. That said, especially if you paid a fair amount for the wine, icing it is just silly. It dilutes the carefully composed, balanced taste that comes with fine wine. If you want your wine cold, chill the bottle first; don’t add ice.

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Merlot Fun Facts

Merlot is well known as an approachable and incredibly food-friendly wine that can be paired with all kinds of things. This reputation makes it fairly popular as a table wine, and as an accompaniment to various snacks and meals.

Vine Vera also happens to have a collection inspired by and themed around Merlot. Well-balanced and excellent for multiple skin types, including combination skin, the luxurious Merlot collection, like all Vine Vera products, is sure to keep your skin looking and feeling great.

So, in honor of the tasty, versatile wine that is Merlot, we decided to put together a little list of fun and interesting facts about Merlot you probably didn’t know.

Server pouring red wine in a glass

Merlot Means “Young Blackbird” in French
There are a couple theories as to why this name was chosen. For one thing, it could simply be a reference to the grape’s color: deep, blackish-blue reminiscent of a blackbird’s plumage. The other theory is that the grape was named after blackbirds because of how much blackbirds enjoy eating grapes.

The Flavor Depends on Climate
Specifically, Merlot has a fluctuating flavor profile that’s dependent on the temperature in which it’s grown. If grown in the searing heat, Merlot tastes of cheesecake and chocolate. Colder-climate Merlot, on the other hand, tends to have prevailing notes of berries and plum, and sometimes even tobacco.

Friends having wine and food in a restaurant.

Food Friendly
What makes Merlot pair so well with so many foods? It’s high in sugar and not very acidic; this allows it to be incredibly versatile, and the range of flavor profiles available, depending on climate and aging process, mean that there’s probably a Merlot for just about every meal.

The Secret to Merlot’s Popularity
The main reason Merlot is so ridiculously popular is that the wine has a distinct ability to please a variety of palates, especially if you’re willing to hunt around for a particular Merlot that you especially like. Some Merlots are simple, fruity and on the sweet side, while others will be more robust and oaked.

Grapes in a vineyard

The Merlot varietal has been around and used in winemaking for quite some time. The earliest recorded mention of Merlot, in fact, was from 1784, in the Bordeaux region of France.

Widespread and Ridiculously Popular
Did you know that the Merlot grape is the most commonly planted wine grape in the entire world? It’s also the most commonly planted grape in Bordeaux, the French region it originated from. It’s used commonly in Italy, United States, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Long Island, Chile, Argentina, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, South Africa, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Montenegro.

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All About the Zinfandel Grape

Zinfandel wine is a robust, flavorful, and easy to drink red wine with a unique, spice-accented flavor profile, that’s distinctly American in name and origin (well, origin of the wine itself, anyway; we’ll talk about the grapes and the plants that produce them in a moment). It also has a close cousin, which is—contrary to popular belief—made form the same grape; white zinfandel, a mellow yet complex rosé with a healthy dose of sweetness.

But other than the fact that it’s a popular American-born wine grape varietal that produces two well-loved classics in the wine world, how much do you really know about the zinfandel grape? Considering it has a rich and fascinating legacy and has inspired one of our resveratrol skincare collections, Vine Vera has decided to give this grape and its story a good, hard look.

Zinfandel grapes in a vineyard

Mysterious Origins
Zinfandel grape vines first popped up in the mid 19th century, called alternately Zinfandel and Zenfandal. It was popular in northern California because it actually thrived in the warm climate and sandy soil. It grew increasingly popular when the gold rush came into full swing, and the increased population that the gold rush brought to California gave wine-makers in the area continued business and ensured the survival of the varietal.

However, the weird thing about Zinfandel at the time was that no one knew where the hell it came from. It just sort of popped up in California without explanation. At the time, France was known to have an extensive and well-kept vine collections, but no one could find a match to Zinfandel within them. This was before the time of genome sequencing or DNA fingerprinting, so in the absence of effective technology to track down Zinfandel’s origin, various historians took a stab at the task.

Vineyard in Napa Valley, California

Solving the Mystery
One historian in particular, by the name of Charles L Sullivan, was able to figure out through extensive searching of records, that the Zinfandel vine was imported to the states in the 1820s from the Austrian Imperial Nursery. This was all that could be discovered at the time, though, and didn’t paint the full picture.

Just recently, in the early 1990s, DNA fingerprinting promised the potential to finally solve the mystery. It revealed that Zifandel was genetically identical to the Italian varietal Primativo, which was, as the time, somewhat obscure. This left some questions unanswered still, but eventually, it was discovered that Zinfandel and Primativo were also genetically identical to an almost unheard of and almost extinct Croatian varietal known as Crljenak Kastelanski, finally solving the mystery of Zin’s heritage, even if it didn’t quite answer how it got here (we will likely never know exactly how). It should be noted that despite the genetic identicalness, these three varietals have different flavor profiles by virtue of differences in vine vigor, cluster size and grape size.

Red and white wines

Zinfandel Today
Zinfandel has had many peaks and valleys in its popularity over the years, but today both red and “white” (actually pink) wines derived from the Zinfandel grape have a unique place in the wine world. Red Zinfandel in particular has a rich and robust profile while remaining fairly easy to drink, and pairs well with a variety of foods such as red meat, burgers, and even pizza! Old vine Zinfandel is especially prized and sought after, because older grape vines produce wines with more pronounced spice overtones.

So the next time you’re looking for a fun red wine with a taste as rich as it’s history, grab a bottle or three of the mysterious and uniquely American Zinfandel, and drink to good health!

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Correlation Between Wine and Dandruff?

Dandruff is a frustrating problem, as they come. Hair issues, in general, can be frustrating when your hair seems stubborn to change and remains damaged, dry, frizzy, or otherwise uncooperative no matter what you try. As far as hair and scalp problems go, though, dandruff is especially irritating because it causes severe itchiness in addition to gross, unattractive skin flakes falling off your hair and getting caught in it.

Woman unhappy with her hair.

Wine and Dandruff
There are a lot of potential causes for dandruff, but would you have guessed wine would be one of them? As it turns out, there is a link between wine consumption—and for that matter, alcohol consumption in general—and dandruff, because the alcohol in wine can dehydrate you, which can manifest in a lot of ways, including dryer, rougher skin in general, but one of the first and most prominently affected areas from alcohol dehydration is the scalp, and dandruff is a common result.

Waiter pouring red wine in a glass

How to Fight Dandruff and Still Enjoy Your Wine
The good news here is that you don’t have to swear off any kind of alcohol to prevent dandruff, you just may have to cut back a bit and take some other precautionary measures. Excessive drinking is dangerous for your health anyway, and can lead to alcoholism and liver issues at worst, heartburn and hangovers at best, so you really should be avoiding having way too much to drink anyway. For an average day, try making it an evening ritual to have one—two at the very most—glass of wine, either paired with dinner or on its own, and really take the chance to savor it. We’re not saying you can’t have a bit more (just use your best judgment) at parties and other social gatherings, but for your day-to-day, limit yourself. It will make that one glass be savored even more, and make those occasions where you do have more feel that much more special.

Woman drinking a glass of water.

Stay Hydrated
Always drink water when you consume anything alcoholic, and lots of it. A good rule of thumb is that for every drink (where a drink is one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of liquor) of an alcoholic beverage you imbibe, have a full eight ounce glass of water afterwards. Yes, you will have to go to the bathroom a lot, but let’s be honest, if you’re drinking, you’re going to be doing that anyway, right? That said, do be mindful of how thirsty you are, and never force yourself to drink if you’re not the least bit thirsty, as it can upset your electrolyte balance.

Woman sipping wine from a glass.

Try Red Over White
Additionally, consider drinking red wine more often over white wine. While anything alcoholic can contribute to a dry scalp, white wine and champagne are the biggest culprits here and the ones to be careful of. If you really like white wine, great, but maybe reserve it for an occasional treat. If you like to have a single glass of wine every day, make it a red one; reds are a good idea for health anyway as they have more antioxidants.

Woman shampooing her hair.

Shampoo Regularly
Finally, just shampoo regularly if you can (if you have very dry or curly hair, every single day may not be best, but keep it regular) and use an anti-dandruff shampoo if you do develop dandruff. If you’re staying hydrated, it probably won’t happen regardless, but sometimes genetic predisposition or other factors can complicate things.

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Zinfandel Fun Facts

You Probably know Zinfandel as a wine grape varietal that produces both a rich red with a unique character and robustness, and a sweet, crisp Rose with a similar—if lighter—character to its red counterpart. You might also think of the collection of luxurious, highly effective skin care products from Vine Vera. But how much do you really know about Zinfandel? As it happens, there are a lot of fun facts about the wine varietal that most people aren’t aware of, and today, Vine Vera’s here to go over them with you so you can wow your friends with intriguing trivia anecdotes the next time you pop open a bottle of Zinfandel.

Zinfandel grape growing in a vineyard.

Distinctly American
The earliest recorded instance of the name “Zinfandel” being used to refer to a wine was in an ad from 1832 for a Boston winery, meaning this varietal was truly born in the U.S.A.

Deep Roots
While the first recorded instance of a wine being referred to and sold as “Zinfandel” was in 1832, the vine itself originally came to the U.S. in the 1820s as cuttings brought over from an Austrian collection. Those cuttings, used to spawn the plants that would ultimately allow winemakers to create the stuff, trace their genetic ancestry back to Croatia.

Vineyard in California

Zinfandel originally became introduced to California through the gold rush. The vines took to the dry, sandy soil and hot, arid climate and thrived, making them a very popular grape among winemakers in gold rush areas at the time, and this legacy has continued to make Zinfandel a popular Californian treat go this day.

There Can Be Only One
A lot of people think that “White Zinfandel” is a unique varietal of grape distinct from the one used to make red Zinfandel. This is, however, a common misconception, and both Zinfandel and White Zinfandel come from the Zinfandel grape, the aging and production processes are simply different for the two different kinds of Zinfandel wine (specifically, the skins of the grapes are removed during fermentation when making white Zinfandel, and often, sugar is added to the finished wine).

Woman sipping on wine in a vineyard.

Older is Better
Older vines, that is. While some may prefer standard Zinfandel, “old-vine” Zinfandel is highly sought after, because the age of the vine will intensify spice and fruit flavors in the wine.

For the longest time, no one knew where Zinfandel came from, as it seemed to have just popped up mostly out of nowhere, earning it the title “mystery grape.” Recently, though DNA fingerprinting has solved this mystery, revealing that Zinfandel is actually genetically identical to Primativo and Crljenak Kastelanski grapes. Despite being genetic triplets, though, these three varietals are different enough to be discernible. Zinfandel has more vigorous vines and larger clusters than the other two, which creates a unique flavor profile.

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