A Zinfandel for Memorial Day
Probably a brother of the Italian Primitivo and a cousin of the Croatian Plavac Mali, Zin's progenitor is still unknown, although it seems all but certain that it originally grew in Eastern Europe and most likely in the Balkans.
Zinfandel ("Zin" for short) makes a great match with summer fare. It shows its best with char-grilled meats, from sausages and burgers to sizzling steaks; but it also pairs well with fried chicken or even pizza. I'm talking about RED Zinfandel, of course, not the simple, slightly sweet White Zinfandel that's made by squeezing Zinfandel grapes but then removing the dark skins before they have had time to impart more than a blush of pink color to the juice.
This one's fruity and fun, a big and brawny Zin that - unlike some of its fancier brethren - hasn't escalated to the $20-plus range.
Schuetz Oles 1999 "SO ZIN" California Zinfandel ($11.99)
FOOD MATCH: Despite my own advice above, we went with an ethnic option this time, pairing the big, fruity Zin with a mildly spicy Indian chicken tikka masala.
Friday, May 25, 2001