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 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)
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 JenniferReview.com – It’s an Octo-box!
- 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)