couple wine tasting

Sweet Oaks 2016 Zinfandel – Tasting Notes and Pairings

Red Zinfandel is one of the classic grapes of California, and it accounts for 1 in 10 vines planted in the state.  It is such a popular grape that it even has its own annual festival. Zinfandel vines love the warm sunny days in the Temecula Valley. The sun helps to ripen the sugars perfectly and create a bold wine full of juicy fruit flavors. Keep this wine in dark, dry conditions at home in a room that maintains a steady temperature for sustainable storage to enjoy this gorgeous wine at its very best when you come to serve it.


The popularity of Zinfandel in the United States stems from the exciting, easy-to-drink, and flavorful wines that the grape produces. While Zinfandel wines are known to be relatively moderate in color, tannin, and body, they do not lack in flavor at all. A high level of acidity and often a punchy alcohol content make these slightly sweet wines big hitters on the table. You can expect to enjoy some bold Zinfandel pairings to match as this wine can take a lot of dishes — spicy, sweet, or sour.


Tasting Notes

This enchanting wine pours a beautiful medium ruby red in the glass. Expect a pronounced and complex bouquet to arise immediately from your glass. Notes of black cherry, tobacco leaf, and black licorice dominate, but suggestions of fig and currants will also be discernible as this fascinating wine holds your attention. These multifaceted layers are what make Zinfandel pairings so much fun to try!


The Sweet Oaks 2016 Zinfandel has the classic jammy flavor that you expect from this style of a single varietal wine. Enjoy an uplifting array of fruitiness, with bramble berries and sweet cherries at the very forefront of your palate. The ripe flavors of this wine have a satisfying weight to them, and the excellent body is balanced beautifully with the acidity which reigns in the fruit and gives the wine a mouthwatering finish.


If you want to match this wine with something a little sweeter, Fall is the perfect time of year. Break out the spiced and roasted fruits to match this red wine – peach cobbler, spiced apple, or even a spicy pumpkin pie with Chantilly cream.


If you don’t fancy finishing a whole bottle in one sitting, head on over to our blog post on the very best preservation systems to help keep your wine in the very best condition for another day.


What To Drink It With – Zinfandel Pairings

With so much going on in this wine, it can hold up in some powerfully flavored food matches. The key to Zinfandel pairings is always finding food groups that are as strongly flavored and hefty in weight as the wine is so that they each bring out the best in each other without overpowering. This makes Zinfandel pairings with grilled meats ideal. If you are a big barbecue fan, why not try it with brisket or baby-back ribs. This is a great wine to accompany outdoor dining and sticky fingers. You can easily make a dry rub for baby back ribs and other barbecue beef dishes using smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, black pepper, and Kosher salt. It takes moments to whip up and hours to cook, but it’s still really not a lot of effort for the great flavor payback when paired with this bright and alluring wine.


Traditionally, when we talk about Zinfandel pairings, big, bold meaty dishes spring to mind first. However, vegetarians and vegans should not be put off. There is a great food pairing out there for you to enjoy too. A rich and saucy calzone filled with fresh tomatoes and cheese is a fantastic option. Add a balsamic reduction to your side salad accompaniment, and you have yourself a perfect dish to match with this Sweet Oaks wine. Find a simple calzone recipe to follow here.



For those following a plant-based diet, you might like to try a combination with the intense sweetness of caramelized onions or pick up on the slightly spicy note of Zinfandel’s character with dishes featuring black pepper, turmeric, or even cayenne. This opens up a whole kaleidoscope of vegan-friendly recipes for you to try, but we particularly like this simple socca with caramelized onions recipe, which is simple to whip up as a quick snack to enjoy with a glass and a good conversation. If you want to spend a bit longer in the kitchen, fragrant Indian dishes like chana daal are a great choice of spiced dishes that will match up to this robust wine even if you feel like ditching the meat.


Buy this wine and try out some of these glorious pairing suggestions for yourself.

Leave a Reply