Do you have a taste for history?
"Having the opportunity to drink wine from vines that are sometimes over 80 years old is a bit like tasting history itself," says Eric Aafedt.
Aafedt is behind our wine-of-the-week winner -#8212; the Bogle Vineyards, 2011 California Old Vine Zinfandel at the budget-savvy price of $11.
"Zinfandel is unique in that there remain many 'old-vine' vineyards out there producing great quality wine in many regions," said Aafedt, director of winemaking of Bogle Winery in Clarksburg. "These head-trained vines are rich in history and flavor."
The Bogle zin is intense, with great concentration of flavor, surprisingly so for an $11 wine. It has aromas and flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, herbs with a kiss of vanilla.
"I'm shooting for a well-extracted, fruit-forward, balanced wine with a subtle complement of American oak," Aafedt said. "Although this zin is 14.5 percent alcohol, it's balanced and doesn't show heat on the finish."
The most challenging part of making zinfandel is getting the grape at pitch-perfect ripeness, he said.
"Maturing zinfandel grapes ripe enough to showcase all of their character while not over-ripening and creating an overly alcoholic wine is key," Aafedt said.
Comfort food and a jammy zin is the perfect match for the chill of winter and fortunately the Bogle zin fits that "jammy" flavor profile.
"The jam fruit, black pepper and a warm finish make this zin a perfect pairing with a hearty dish on a cold winter night," Aafedt said.