Sure Schwarzenegger's attempt to make Zinfandel California's official wine grape fell flat a few months back, but we never stopped being its champion. That's why we were excited to learn that ZAP, the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, had declared November 19th "Global Zinfandel Day." And while we don't need an excuse to drink Zin, we love that ZAP is directing wine lover's to crack a bottle (or two or three) on Friday with friends and to use social media like Twitter and Facebook to talk about what you're drinking. See how to get involved below and then keep reading for Zinful recommendations from K&L's staff...
So how do I take part in Zinfandel day?
Easy, just buy a bottle (or several) of Zinfandel. Invite over some friends, and enjoy great wine and company.
On the DAY (that’s right the event lasts a whole 24 hours) of the event, gather your bottle or bottles of Zinfandel, friends and enjoy. We have even set up a way for you to organize your own TweetUp, MeetUp, or whateverUp event http://www.meetup.com/Zinfandel
If you are social media inclined we recommend you participate and follow along by logging into your favorite social media site and use the #zinfandel hash tag when posting your comments about Zinfandel. You can then also search the hash tag on social sites to see what other wine drinkers are saying. If you are using Twitter we suggest using a Twitter management software (We love both HootSuite, and Tweetdeck but there are others) and set up a search column for #Zinfandel, which will be the hash tag you use to keep up with your fellow Zinfandel drinkers from around the globe.
Of course you can also join in via Facebook, Ustream or whatever other social media network you love.
Not social media inclined? Don’t worry the important thing is that you gather friends and enjoy some great wine after all what is wine if not shared?
Not sure which Zinfandel to choose? I polled our staff for some of their favorites:
K&L's fearless leader, Clyde Beffa Jr, says the Kalinda El Dorado Zinfandel ($12.99) made for us by the folks at Boeger winery in the Sierra Nevada foothill town of Placerville, is delicious.
Steve Berg, the head of operations at K&L Hollywood recommends the 2007 J. Runquist "Z" from Amador County ($19.99), which he gives 92 points.
K&L's Burgundy buyer, Keith Wollenberg, suggests the 2007 Storrs Central Coast Zinfandel ($16.99), describing it as: "An elegant style, with poise and balance that avoids the trap of low acid and high alcohol into which so many modern Zins have fallen." Redwood City's Alex Brisoux is also a fan.
I agree with Tommy (aka Tom Martinez) who runs our Hollywood store, that the 2007 Unti Vineyards Dry Creek Zinfandel ($24.99) is the way to go. He says: "I don't drink that much Zinfandel, but this one is perect for barbecued meat. Big, rich and full of spices. Just the wine for those looking for something rich with the alcohol in check."
If you've never tried an aged Zin, then you shouldn't miss K&L Hollywood Spirits buyer David Othenin-Girard's pick, the 2002 Joseph Swan "Mancini Ranch" ($15.99). Swan's Zins are unparalleled, unique and characterful.
Mike Barber, who's in sales at our San Francisco store, would be a bad winemaker if he didn't recommend his own delicious Zin (my superlative), the 2008 Barber Cellars "Mr. Beast" Dry Creek Zin ($15.99), which is a little more restrained than the 2007. He also loves the 2007 Ridge "Lytton Springs" ($29.99), the 2006 Storybook Mountain "Reserve" ($49.99) - a sophisticated indulgence that might make you forget about Cab - and the 2007 Acorn "Heritage Vines" ($25.99) from the Russian River Valley.
Hollywood's Steve Greer and K&L co-owner Trey Beffa are both fans of the 2005 Porter Bass ($21.99), which recently landed on store shelves. Steve says that it tasted like a Zin from 15 years ago, and in Steve-speak that means that it was balanced.
What will you be drinking?