11 July 2008

11July- Trying to find a new Zinfandel
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I'm having great difficulty with this, for some reason. We had the JRE for a while and I quite enjoyed that but found that the most recent vintage had a limited shelf-life. Next I tried the Meeker 11th Rack Zinfandel, which I liked a great deal because it was sort of restrained with some nice French Oak spice to it. Evidently, some people didn't care for this because it was not text-book Zin. As it was not big and jammy some people, or one person in particular, accused me of trying to serve her from a long-opened bottle even though I'd opened that bottle just for her. When I mentioned in passing (that is to say, not pointedly) that I'd just opened it and that I'd be more than happy to let the matter rest with my Zin simply being of a style for which she didn't care. She then informed me that she drank zinfandel every night and that it just didn't taste right.

Zinfandel seems like an odd thing in this respect. Anticipation of it seems to angry up the blood.

There was another woman sitting at the bar one evening who, upon tasting the JRE (which I'd opened earlier that day) announced that it tasted like grape juice and that it was off. I immediately offered to open a new bottle for her, which I did in front of her since hers were eyebrows that seemed very ready to arch in accusation, and she deemed her taste from the new bottle similarly repugnant. She asked me if I ever actually tasted these wines. (I'm always surprised when a customer finds a new thing to say or a new way to say something that makes me die a little inside. I frankly didn't think I had that much left to kill and what I had left was well-guarded but she slipped in there and her aim was true. Serves me right for taking pride in my work.)
I explained to her that I did taste these wines and many people enjoyed the JRE. She gave me a description of what she was looking for and I told her I could easily find such a Zinfandel brimming with cherry, wildberry, bramble, and spice but not for $8 a glass. (Later on, and several tastes of wine later, she settled for our Pinot Blanc. And I do mean settle. I can't remember her wording but it was clear that she was doing me a favor, drinking that which I had the nerve to offer. At this point her husband, who was clearly getting more uncomfortable as time passed, told me quietly - but still for her to hear- that she drank Kendall Jackson Chardonnay at home. And this made me smile.)

So back to searching for a Zin.

And I promise to taste each one.

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