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"An Under-Over Tasting"

  by Fred McMillin



Barefoot ZinLast year we matched six Zinfandels with six equally-priced Cabernet Sauvignons. The wines were over $10 and under $20. The Zins won five of the six matches. That tasting indicated Zinfandel usually is the better buy in the mid-price range (See WineDay Annex, Summer 1998, "A Zin-Cab Tasteoff".)


The Rest of the Story

We got to wondering how Zins would do against equally-priced Cabs below $10 and over $20. So we set up another six appropriate pairs in our last tasting. Here are the results. (Wines winning by the largest margins are listed last.)

  Winning Margin (votes) Winner The Wine
6th - 6 Cab Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve, Cal., '96, $6
5th - 8 Zin Cline, California '95, $9.50
4th - 9 Zin Simi, Dry Creek Valley, '97, $21
3rd - 11 Zin Peachy Canyon, Paso Robles, Dusi Ranch, '96, $23
2nd - 13 Zin Rosenblum, Redwood Valley, Rhodes Vineyard, Annette's Reserve, '96, $22
1st - 14 Zin Barefoot, California Non-vintage, $6 (pictured)


  • Deja vu! Once again Zinfandel won five of the six equal-price pairings. (tasted blind, as always)

  • As we said last year, there's no question that Cabernet Sauvignon can produce a greater wine than can the Zinfandel However, if you're looking for a red to drink tonight that's under $25, our results say, buy a Zin,

  • Another way to state this is that when you buy a Cab under $25, you are paying not only for the wine, but for the prestige of having the label read Cabernet Sauvignon.


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