For those of us on the East Coast, it’s been a difficult winter. Of course, I’m based in Philadelphia, which means that I have nothing to complain about compared to what my friends in Boston are going through these days. (It sounds kind of like what we dealt with here last winter, and it’s definitely no fun at all.)
Regardless, most of us in the North East have had to survive with a distinct lack of sun these past several months—not an easy thing, to be sure. I have, however, found a cure. (And no, it’s not one of those lamps whose light mimics the sun.) It’s great Zinfandel, which, it turns out, has the ability to not only pair well with a huge range of foods (BBQ! Burgers! Short ribs! Also: it’s fantastic on its own, paired, perhaps, only with a lazy afternoon of on-demand movies), but also to cheer you up in the interminably dark days of February.
And among my personal favorites, vintage after vintage, are the stellar Zinfandels of Frank Family Vineyards. The 2011, reviewed below, embodies so much of what makes both great Napa Zinfandel and Frank Family Vineyards so perfect this time of year. Or, for that matter, whenever the urge strikes to pop the cork from a bottle.
Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2011, Napa Valley
Aromas of cherry, dusty cocoa, blueberry and spice lead to lively yet concentrated flavors of red and darker cherry, a distinct note of kirsch-filled chocolate, blueberry, and a hint of cafe mocha with a dusting of vanilla and cinnamon on top, all of it finishing with a zip of exotic spice. Well-crafted and vivacious. Drink now - 2019…but if I had more bottles, I’d have a hard time resisting them right now.