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The White Zinfandel Was a Mistake

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"Friends don't let friends drink White Zinfandel."

Just in case you happened to catch a sight of me with a glass of that stuff in front of me, rest assured that it was not what I ordered.

Until the past decade or two, Zinfandel was known as a red wine. It was not until Gallo, trying to come up with a way to bring wine to a less sophisticated audience, introduced White Zinfandel that anyone imagined otherwise. Sadly, the commercial success of the newfangled stuff has managed to hijack the meaning of "Zinfandel" in the minds of many.

I recently ordered a glass of a Zinfandel from Sonoma County (though nothing particularly exotic) and had a glass of White Zinfandel placed in front of me. This amused my wife Niki immensely. She just started to laugh while I was still processing what was happening, and the poor server, a young woman who, in the immortal words of Basil Fawlty, "wouldn't know a Bordeaux from a Claret," had no idea what Niki found so funny or why I was so confused. I managed to ask for confirmation about what I had been brought, which led to a satisfactory solution.

Now, in the event that any photos surface of me with a White Zinfandel, you know what happened, and know that there is no cause for alarm.

"Hey! I like White Zinfandel!" you might object. Well, the truth of the matter is that if you really like it, you should drink it. Beware, however, that you do not find yourself slipping into the seductive trap of always getting only what you already know.

Of course, other wines can have the same effect -- for a while I was stuck on a few different varieties of Merlot (Parducci and Blackstone, specifically). The wonderful thing about wine is that there is so much variety, history, and culture. The important thing is that you remember that whatever level of sophistication you have now, it's only a place to start. Never let your affinity for what you know blind you to the rest of what the world of wine has to offer.

Created by cmcurtin
This article originally appeared on Sunshine Poultry.
Last modified 2007-09-29 08:04 PM
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