10 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

ZAP & Starting 2012 Right

ZAP – Zinfandel Advocates & Producers.

I fall in with the “Advocates” portion … maybe even more narrow of a focus, I’m a lover of Zin. It’s a wonderful grape, with brightness or deep, dark tones and a mouthfeel from light to viscous, sugary goodness. Zin is happy to be so many things to so many people – a serious beverage coming out of cooler climate regions, or a high alcohol bottle of naughtiness ready to party with the best of the group.

I had the extreme pleasure of starting my 2012 wine tasting season by attending the 21st Annual ZAP Festival in San Francisco on Saturday, January 27th. With 204 wineries pouring over 500 Zinfandels to 8,000+ attendees over a 3-day span, you can bet there was a whole lot of happy folks around in The City. I surely was one of them.

I chose my plan of attack based on the new festival guide addition the ZAP folks added this year, called Zin Tracks. Basically, it was a short 10-page guide that sliced and diced the wineries into different, more “digestible” categories to help you decide how you were going to make your way through the day. I chose the track called Zin Blends. Let us not forget, I’m on a mission to find something different in the industry, and Zin Blends sounded like my best bet from the “tracks” identified.

After tasting through 11 of the wineries from that track, plus a host of other wineries, my count has left me at about 40 wines tasted that day. To some, that’s a lot. To others, they ask “why so few?”. Two reasons: 1) I still needed to drive home from SF to Napa and 2) I needed to actually taste¬†everything I was trying. Of course, I had a little something to help me along my tasting day (aside from the massive amounts of cheese and bread and water they served us), but even then, by the end of my day, I was happy to be done tasting.

Below are some of my wrap-up tweets showing my #zinfest favorites – you’ll find that over the coming weeks and months, I’ll be highlighting these wines and wineries. Net-net: I hit pay dirt for the ol’ blog, with at least a half-dozen new wines and wineries to talk about. To keep up on these, be sure to watch for the zinfest tag for my posts. This will be your clue that I tasted their wine during the ZAP event, and should definitely be intrigued to try their wine(s) out.


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