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Sunday, June 04, 2006

zins $10 and under

I know this isn't a wine blog, but I've been on a quest to find good, low-priced Zinfandels lately so I thought I'd talk about it, both the good and the bad. I really like Zinfandels. They are California's own, strong and spicy, not unlike a Shiraz. Growing up I made many Zinfandels with my father in our basement, so they are part of my own history too. I don't like spending a lot on wine, except occasionally, so I'm always trying to find that low-priced everyday drinking wine. I'll talk about two Zins in this post, but there will be more to come.

First up: C.K. Mondavi Wildcreek Canyon Zinfandel, Vintage 2003, $5 at Trader Joe's. Basically, this is not a good wine at all. To quote (from memory, perhaps inaccurately) Eric Idle from the Monty Python sketch about Australian table wines (off the Matching Tie and Handkerchief album, if you care): "This is not a wine for drinking, but a wine for lying down and avoiding." It really tastes...just plain...bad. It's not a weak wine, it just seems off. I won't be buying it again.

Next up: Old Moon {Old Vine} Zinfandel, 2005, $6 at Trader Joe's. This is an excellent find! One of my current favorites (and I'm savoring a glass right now). It does taste like a young wine, as you'd expect for a wine that's only 7 or 8 months old, but it is full-bodied and fruity. I don't know if it will age or not, but I may keep a few bottles around for a couple of years and see what happens. Apprarently TJs has been selling this wine for years, and I found some reviews of the 2003 vintage that were quite positive. Since I've only just discovered it with the 2005 vintage, I can't say how it compares to earlier years.

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