The two most widely-planted red wine grapes in California are Zinfandel
(50,000 acres) and Cabernet Sauvignon (45,000 acres).
I'm going to drink a $15 red wine tonight. Which would taste better,
a Zin or a Cab?
There's no doubt that Cabernet Sauvignon can produce a greater wine
than can the Zinfandel. However, there is considerable doubt that the
Cab is the better buy in the $l0-$20 range. To get an idea, my Scott's
panel tasted blind nine pairs of equally-priced Cabs and Zins.
Here are the winners (we'll omit the losers).
- We show the price of the two wines and how much higher the winner
was rated (winner's score minus loser's score).
|Price of the Pair
||Winning Margin (Points)
|| '97 Pionero Cab, Chile (by Racke)
||'93 Guglielmo Zin, Santa Clara Vly.
||'94 Belvedere Zin, Dry Creek Vly.
||'93 Staton Hills Cab, WA
||'94 Dry Creek Vineyard Zin
||'95 Davis Bynum Zin, Sonoma County
||'96 Sonora Zin, Amador County
||'95 Steele DuPratt Zin, Mendocino
||'95 La Crema Zin, Sonoma Coast
The Zinfandels won seven out of nine matches. I think I'll have one
tonight with my pesto pizza.
Which of the 18 wines won Best of Tasting? It seldom happens
but we had a tie.
- The Amador Sonora and the Sonoma LaCrema Zins tied at the top.
- Both were rated excellent.
Note: In addition to the above wines, I paired a couple of duds,
along with the question, "Which tastes better?"...I liked the
note on Dr. Henry Cohen's ballot, which read, Who Cares!