The more you drink and the more you learn about wine, you find yourself looking for bottles that are a “true representation” of the grape.

Zinfandel is usually a big, high-alcohol wine with a mouthful of fruit and a pepper finish. On Super Bowl evening I opened a bottle of Renwood 2005 Old Vine Zinfandel. And the Renwood was a fine Zin for $14.99. I bought it at Cork and Cracker, Indianapolis.

Click here for the winery’s notes.

I like the big Zins with real big fruit on the first sip to a big peppery finish at the back. I don’t like the really, really high alcohol Zins. This one is a really good representation of Zinfandel. Their wines are in most wine shops. I found this particular Zin priced anywhere from $13.59 to $19.95, so I felt good about the $15 I paid in Indianapolis.

The Renwood is a nicely balanced, spicy-flavored wine that held up to my Super Bowl chili and to an overnight in the fridge! What more can you ask?

A note to newcomers or those not familiar with Zin. Be wary of some California Zins that are off the charts high on alcohol. The Renwood is 15 percent alcohol and that is substantial, but you’ll find California Zins at 16 and 16.5 – you can feel the burn in the throat. A couple of glasses of wine at that alcohol point should be plenty for anyone!

This is a wine I’d buy over and over when in the mood for Zins. At the price, it’s a great bottle of wine!

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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