by Fred McMillin
Your wine shop has a display of affordable Zinfandels that are one through five years old. Which should you buy?
Earlier (When Will Your Wine Taste Best?) we made similar studies of the USA's two most popular varietals and found:
Chardonnay—Best two years after the vintage date. One year old and three year old bottles averaged lower scores,
Cabernet Sauvignon—Best to wait until five years old.
Now on to Zinfandel.
My tireless tasters have tackled 48 Zins in recent months. The wines were from one to five years old with prices from $10 to $26.
My tasters found that these affordable Zins reached their peak in four years, one year earlier that the Cabs.
Here are the best Zins of each group.
Statistics by Nora Molabola and Juliet Velasquez
We know vintages are very important to wine lovers. For example, in California 1997 was clearly superior to 1998. Which reminds me of the great Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat. After he received a salary increase, the Babe was asked by a reporter if he wasn't embarrassed by the fact that he was making more than the president of the U.S.A.
The Babe: "No. I had a better year!"
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.
Copyright © 2007, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.
This page created August 2007
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