The Grape Count

In Vino Veritas- "In Wine there is Truth"
Grapes to try to date: 200

Grapes tried: 104
Grapes to go:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#23 Primitivo (Zinfandel)

I learned a few things drinking this grape varietal. The first is that a Primitivo wine is the same as a Zinfandel wine. Here in North America we are more familiar with the Zinfandel because of the grape (identical in DNA) is grown in California and even then, many of us are mistakenly thinking of a rose wine. In fact, the Primitivo or Zinfandel grape is a red grape and also a red wine. It's considered a heavyweight wine and is moderately acidic.

It oftens contains a fruit flavour and is it reminds me anyway of a slightly heavier Shiraz or Syrah so if you like that wine, get yourself a Zinfandel. The good news is the grape is widely available.

To say I was excited about this wine was an understatement. Not only because of a new grape, but because the winery I had chosen is one of my absolute favourites! And I thought for sure this was a win win! Was it a win win? Well, the second thing I learned is sometimes it's a good idea to try the wine taste. Let me explain.

The wine I had chosen is the Primitivo wine from Layer Cake Winery. Now I shouldn't be telling you about Layer Cake because I just make it harder and harder for myself to find the wine. It sells out so quickly! I discovered this wine purely by chance on a snowboarding trip this past New Year's- sitting inconspicuously on a grocery store shelf in Whitefish Montana. I vaguely remembered reading about Layer Cake in Food & Wine magazine so I quickly snatched up a bottle of Shiraz and headed back to the house.

Well, we ended up loving this wine. And by the end of the snowboard trip and for new year's, nearly everyone had brought Layer Cake wine to the party after tasting our wine. I have since bought the Malbec as well as was excited to discover that one of the local liquor stores here carried the Primitivo. It too me three trips to the store to finally get a bottle because Layer Cake sells out so fast. It's that good!

So, I was excited about the Primitivo as their Shiraz and Malbec didn't let me down. In fact, I'll write a separate posting about them. I brought the Primitivo over to my sister's house as she was really wanting to try it.

We cracked open the bottle and sat down for dinner. Now, I actually forgot to take pictures of the dinner (cheeseburgers) so the pic below is what Craig had for dinner with his share of the Primitivo. He barbequed a roast for himself and his buddies to watch either UFC or MMA or some other three letter fight I don't know about.

Kristin's first impression of the wine- disappointment. She said it before I'd had my first sip. I'm not sure if that influenced my decision or not but my first few sips were less than satisfactory as well. I couldn't really register that I was drinking a bad Layer Cake wine. She had to leave right after dinner but I stuck around for a bit and had a second glass. I think my impression of it improved as the wine breathed a little. I noticed the acidity right away and maybe that's why Kristin was disappointed. There was a faint hint of fruit (in fact there are many) and of coffee. While it left an aftertaste in the mouth, there was nothing particularly unpleasing about it but it certainly didn't wow me like the other wines had. Best to wait.

Mom took the wine home for Craig to taste and I have no idea actually what he thought of the wine. How much did I have to drink that night? I'll have to do some follow up on this issue. Sorry about that. But anyway, I did pick up the bottle of wine after and had a glass of it the next day. And the wine was completely different. I very much enjoyed this wine so mental note to self: open the bottle a day before serving! It was absolutely delicious and I wish I'd had more than just a glass left. Good to the last drop I guess!

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