Zinfandel is one of the oldest grapes in California, and it therefore enjoys a certain stature there. For decades, wine authorities were uncertain of its origins. They have finally proven that Zinfandel’s origin is an obscure Croatian grape.
Zin — as lovers of Zinfandel call it — makes rich, dark wines that are high in alcohol and medium to high in tannin. They can have a blackberry or raspberry aroma and flavor, a spicy or tarry character, or even a jammy flavor. Some Zins are lighter than others and meant to be enjoyed young, and some are serious wines with a tannin structure that’s built for aging.
White Zinfandel is such a popular wine — and so much better known than the red style of Zinfandel — that its fans might argue that Zinfandel is a white grape. But it’s really red.