© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Cline 1995 "Ancient Vines" Contra Costa County Zinfandel ($14.99)
Dark ruby in color, with appealing aromas of mixed-berry fruit and spicy oak; a hint of white pepper was probably inspired by reading the back-label notes before tasting -- always a bad idea. Big, jammy berry fruit on the palate, fruit and alcohol almost carry the structure in lieu of acidity, but it finishes a bit fat and soft. Pleasant quaff, great with a cheesey pasta dish, and soft enough to gulp with pleasure, but overall, its fruity simplicity reminds me why I'm not really a Zin fan. (Dec. 2, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: We got a chuckle out of pairing this wine with a "school lunch" dinner, a grown-up rendition of those old cafeteria favorites macaroni-and-cheese and boiled cabbage. The traditional quaff with the schoolday treat was grape Kool-Aid; and this grapey, soft wine plays a similar role against a mac-and-chee made with provolone and queso blanco and cabbage spiced up with black pepper and cumin.
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