Three Zin Under Ten

Red wine goes great with grilling! Burgers, dogs, sausage, steak…most of the common summertime grilling treats are screaming for big full bodied red wine.  Do you want to break out your 78’ Cabernet or 100 year old vine Zinfandel when the wine will probably end up in a red plastic cup? Life may be too short to drink bad wine, but there are times when good value wine is needed! We can’t drink $175 bottles of Opus One every night can we?

These are the wines for you. Three Zin, under Ten ($10). They won’t break the bank, but are they drinkable? To explore the value in the “all American varietal,” we venture to the place where the grape gained prominence…California. With 10% of California’s crop planted to Zinfandel (sadly most used for sugary sweet White Zinfandel), the big bold red grape can provide powerful fruit and a sassy spice that work well for BBQ (and pizza).

The NectarView

2006 XYZin Zinfandel

  • The Stuff: 100% Zinfandel from various California vineyards; aged in new and used American, French and Hungarian oak barrels for 10 months; 14.3%ABV; 23,000 cases produced 
  • The Swirl: A presentation of plum colored cola with browning occurring toward the edges.
  • The Sniff: Semi-sour raspberry aromas laced with hints of lavender and cloves
  • The Sip: The XYZin has some moderately complex layers of flavor that open up nicely to include a dark strawberry, baking spice and cocoa. Reminiscent of a canned strawberry pie filling with hints of sour berry. Good finish with a lingering flavor of pepper spice and nutmeg.
  • The Score: Retail on this wine is $16 for the newer vintages, picked up the 06 for $10 at a local wine store. At that price the XYZin is good value that competes well with other value priced Zinfandel from Cline, Dancing Bull, and Seven Deadly Zins. 3/5

Cellar Tracker Score 87 points (8 reviews)

 ZYZin Zinfandel Rating

2008 BOHO Vineyards Octavin 3L Zinfandel

  • The Stuff: Wine maker David George showcases his 100% California Zinfandel in a ready to drink now 3L Octavin Home Wine Bar. The wine is said to stay fresh for up to six weeks in the patent pending bladder; 13.5% ABV; 20,000 cases produced.
  • The Swirl: Dark inky plum color that is about 80% opaque. Wine seems thin in viscosity and has watery edges.
  • The Sniff: Very restrained nose with subtle aroma of dried cherry
  • The Sip: A somewhat thin presentation of dark berry fruits on the palate. The mouth feel seems round without being flabby. A single dimension wine that is neither off nor dynamic. Lacking in layers of fruit but balanced in flavor and finish.
  • The Score: Coming in at $6 per “bottle” the BOHO is certainly a drinkable wine when in need of a larger quantity. If you’re headed camping, having a wedding, or throwing a party, the BOHO Zin would do well to satisfy the average wine drinker. 3-/5

A review on – It’s an Octo-box!

BOHO Zinfandel Rating

2008 Dynamite Zinfandel

  • The Stuff: 78% Zinfandel, 8% Primitivo, 7% Merlot and 7% Petite Sirah from Mendocino and Lake County; Aged 10 months in 15% new oak (combination of American, French and Hungarian); 13.8%ABV
  • The Swirl: Medium dark plum with slight brightness of cherries. The wine is about 60% opaque
  • The Sniff: Medium aromas of blueberry and cocoa are initially present with a  mild presentation of black pepper
  • The Sip: The Dynamite Zinfandel is new world jam flavors of blackberry and dark cherry fruits. A subtle woody evergreen tree pokes through that reminds me of Christmas. This wine has a good firm grip on the back end and would hold up well to a BBQ steak or spicy burger.
  • The Score: At $10, the Dynamite Zin is a fair value but doesn’t hold up as well against other California Zin in this price range. 3-/5

Cellar Tracker Score 87 points (1 review)

Dynamite Zinfandel Rating


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

3 comments on “Three Zin Under Ten

  1. Robert Dwyer

    Hey Josh!

    I noticed in your review images that your assessment of QPR is baked into your rating. I know some people do and some don’t include an assessment of value when rating a wine- do you have a post or a link I could refer to for your thoughts on this in general?

    If not, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on how you decided to include a value assessment in your rating of wines.

    I’m not in favor of including value assessments in ratings, preferring to include only my assessment of how much I liked a wine when I rate it but I’d be honestly interested in hearing your opinion on this.


    1. drinknectar

      Robert, my intention in providing a review that includes the QPR is to try to give an overall impression of the wine including the price. I don’t give it a ton of weight, effects at the most +/- 1 rating and that only if its a significant detraction or addition. Example – I just reviewed a Paso Robles Syrah that I purchased for $10. The wine was very good and I would score it a solid 3 (86 pts). The value was so great that my official rating will clock in as a 3+. On the side, I’ve had wines that would score 4+ (94 pts) that were $100 and I reduced their rating to a 4.

      I think consistency is where it’s at. I totally see where you’re coming from in providing a pure ‘like / don’t like’ rating, but since the whole process has some subjectivity to it, I’m choosing to add the pricing information into the overall outcome for those readers here.

      Does that help / make sense?



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