Let me start with the disclaimer that I've been looking forward to and dreading this day for 18 months. I took a wine tasting course in college, but that was long ago and far far away. These days I fall more into the "I know what I like and I know when I like it category", without a lot of analysis of how or why. I do some home brewing on the side (beer, not wine) and I'd say that my palette tends to prefer bitter and savory, though my nose likes hops and some floral notes. I like big bold reds, and I like dry whites in the summer, sometimes (gasp) with seltzer after working in the yard for a couple of hours.
Ok, that's out of the way and you should have some idea of where I am coming from. I got my ticket, and the wine, this morning. Temps are reasonable and the wine was able to rest all day. Things were hectic with the wife and kids so I decided to make grilled pizza. Wheat dough with mini pepperoni and olives for the kids, basil, roasted red peppers, olives, and mini pepperoni bits for the missus and myself. To accompany, a spinach salad with orange bell pepper, tomato, and canned beets.
dark ruby red, nice legs
Light tannins and low astringency, a hint of sweetness, or maybe it is the berry nose. The wine fills the mouth but swallows clean with little aftertaste and an alcoholic tingle. It is hard to identify individual tasting notes. Definitely berry, but It's easier to say what it isn't. No tobacco, no pepper (black or bell), no oak.
My wife says: oaky, raspberry flavor, maybe strawberry as well. She liked it,"it was tasty". My son said to say that he liked it (though he did not try it, he's 7!)
After about 30 minutes the food was ready, and the wine had opened up. To me it was now too sweet. The berry aroma was strong and made the wine a little cloying, though I felt that it was as much in my head as in my mouth (because of the nose). I suspect that it needed a stronger pairing: more spice and more bold flavor. I tried red pepper flakes on the pizza and then hot sauce on my crust, to no avail. Chips and salsa did not balance It either.
For dessert we had Pepperidge farm dark chocolate chip cookies with brownie bits. The bitter chocolate flavor was a much better match for the Zin and balanced out the berry taste.
Final thoughts: a good wine, one that I liked for technical reasons, but did not enjoy much because it is not my preferred style. Food plays a big part. Drink it with food that is strong and/or spicy. My wife, who prefers a lighter red, liked it a lot.
I have a glass or so left and will try to update tomorrow with additional impressions.