One Mighty Nice Zinfandel for a Cold Winter Night

By Ray Isle Posted January 13, 2009

For the past few years, Bob Varner has been making one of my favorite affordable American Chardonnays—Foxglove—as well as one of my favorite not-so-affordable American Chardonnays—the Varner Bee Block. Now he and his brother Jim seem to have taken it into their heads to produce a knockout affordable Zinfandel, too. The 2007 Foxglove Paso Robles Zinfandel ($15.50, find this wine) has that springy bright berry character that makes some zinfandels so fun to drink together with appealingly fuzzy tannins (appealing the way a fuzzbox rounds and muzzes up an electric guitar's direct tone), and it eschews the whop-you-in-the-face alcohol that makes some other zins wearisome to drink. If I had a plate of BBQ ribs in front of me, I'd drink more than my share of it; instead I only have a single small package of Dr. Pepper beef jerky I smuggled back from Texas for emergencies, so I think I'll hold off.

PS. Foxglove Zin is also available from the Varner Wine website here. 

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