Casting off old image of ‘White Zin’

Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel 2008, Lodi
Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel 2008, Lodi

It broke the bank, but every fancy mouthful was worth it

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It’s not so long ago that the expectation of a bottle of Zinfandel would have been a pink semi-sweet wine which seemed to be so loved by our American cousins.

Thankfully although ‘White Zin’ is still available, wine drinkers are beginning at last to appreciate that this red grape in the right conditions and the right hands can produce interesting wine especially suited to hearty winter casseroles.

Zinfandel is seen as a California grape, where it accounts for about 10 per cent of planted vines. But it has now been proved that it is actually the Primitivo grape that grows in the Puglia region of southern Italy. As a red wine Zinfandel, especially if made from old vines, can be absolutely flavour-packed and offer really good value for money.

Top tipple

Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel 2008, Lodi

From a Zinfandel specialist this is big, bold wine full of spices, mocha, ripe plums and hints of vanilla. Waitrose – on offer at £10.39, from £12.99