I’m very fond of the American Zinfandels produced by Joel Peterson and his Ravenswood wines. Here’s a trio to try: Ravenswood Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel
is a great bang-for-the-buck at $12.99, and it’s even a better bargain when it goes on sale here, which is frequently, for $9.99. It’s big and bold, but simultaneously approachable, with soft tannins and rich fruit flavors.
A step up from Vintners Blend is the Ravenswood County Series, featuring juice from Mendocino, Lodi, Napa Valley and Sonoma. I particularly like the ripe jammy flavors of Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
($15.99), with hints of dark chocolate, blackberries and cocoa. At 14.5 percent alcohol, you might want to sip this one slowly.
Ravenswood’s Single Vineyard Designates is a wine series that’s all about terroir. These are vineyard locations that are ideally suited to the grapes grown there: old, low-yield vines that are site-specific. Ravenswood Dickerson Zinfandel
($32.99) offers notes of mint and eucalyptus, along with sweet mid-palate fruit flavors that are well-balanced by the wine’s acidity.
Life is too short to drink wimpy wines.