I got home and my lovely husband had a glass of this sitting on the kitchen table for me to taste. I'm a lucky lady.
So, what did I have in front of me?
Time to play detective.
Color was a little more purple than in the photo above, but definitely transparent.
Put the glass to my nose.
Booze. I smelled booze.
Then some purple fruits.
Actually, I sniffed again. Lots of purple, and a little red fruit, and then some black fruit too, like blackberries... and oh man, spice. Lots of spice.
Took a sip: Acid! Made my tongue water. Didn't dry my mouth out like I might have expected if it was a Malbec from Argentina. That tends to have some "tannins" (makes your mouth feel dry, and your reaction might be to pucker/look like you're making a kissy-face).
So, Malbec was my dominant guess, but I knew it was wrong...
Malbec matched with all the spice I was getting, and the purple and red fruits, but it was higher in acid, and again, too low in tannins, and it was super boozy...
From all the booze, I knew it had to be New World (not European, which typically makes more "delicate" wines... When I get something "in-my-face" I think "new world.
Or, at the very least, a hot climate.
The hotter the climate, the more the grapes ripen. The riper the grapes, the more sugar. The more sugar, the more for yeast to convert into alcohol during fermentation. The more alcohol, the more heat or burn you get in your nose and in the back of the throat. And, the more you get drunk.
TASTING NOTES FROM POUR WINES:
When foxes make their gloves, evidently, they use something dark and soft – and delicious? Well, maybe that pun doesn’t go so far, but this wine will. From Paso Robles, one of California wine’s best-kept secrets, comes this smoky, silky bit of temptation. Black plums and cherries, blackberries, a generous dollop of baking spice, fine-grained tannins and luscious mouthfeel make this a great movie-with-your-honey wine, or pair it with honey-glazed ham, oxtail soup, or gourmet pizza.
So, although I was wrong, at least my tasting notes were almost spot-on! And I KNEW I was wrong, but I didn't know what it was... but at least there is a good reason for that: I've only had a Zinfandel one other time in my life (that I know of at least).
It NEVER even entered my mind as a possibility! Even though I've heard of it a lot, it was just something I never normally encounter... It didn't even pass through in my memory rolodex. (For those interested, maybe at some point, I'll discuss how memory retrieval works...)
SO, the next time I get all those deep dark flavors, lots of fruit, high acid, but no tannins...
I'll think Zinfandel.