Vino Veritas: Valentine’s Day Wines
Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel
2006 Lodi, California
Harvested from Zinfandel vines older than fifty years, old vine Zinfandel wines tend to have a deeper richness and complexity.
Color: Deep rich red with a hint of purple.
Nose: Light and fruity.
Taste: Lots of bright cherry-berry goodness with very little tannin (it is almost sweet) and a long, long lingering finish.
Made from 100% blackberry fruit.
Color: Pale reddish-brown.
Nose: Sweet and very slightly spicy blackberry.
Taste: Like blackberry cobbler in a glass. It is almost as rich as a ruby port without the alcohol heat of a fortified wine.
Normally this is the part where I offer food pairings to go with the wines being tasted. I usually base that on what I am tasting at the moment from the wine and what I think would go nicely with it. However, this time around I’ve specifically chosen these wines to accompany a specific food, in this case chocolate cake. Now, before somebody thinks they misread that, yes, dry red wine (Zinfandel) and chocolate cake (brownies too!). Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel in previous vintages had a darker fruit and almost cocoa-like quality that made it a phenomenal match for chocolates (shared flavors between foods and wines make great pairings). The bad news is that the 2006 vintage seems to be lighter and fruitier without the cocoa darkness. The good news is that the almost sweet character of the 2006 vintage is still a great match for chocolates, specifically dark chocolates. The bitterness of the dark chocolate in contrast to the brightness of the wine will create a flavor profile that is unique and very tasty (sometimes contrast in flavor is a good thing too).
Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Tomasello’s blackberry wine is a bit more utilitarian. This port-like fruit bomb is also great with dark and milk chocolate pieces, cheesecake, angel food cake (really almost any cake), and when mixed with vodka makes a really great martini. If your Valentine’s Day tradition includes a bottle of bubbly (and if it doesn’t it should), a splash of blackberry wine in your flute makes it something extra special.