Thursday, April 30, 2015

Winey Tasting Notes: Wine with the best of friends - Plungerhead Old Vine Zinfandel


Plungerhead Old Vine ZinfandelThere are friends that will be forever friends, no matter how often or little you actually see them in person. I am blessed to have found a number of friends like that and they're from all different times in my life. They are from high school, college, my early married days and from work.  But, since it's been many (ouch) years since I have left college, you can imagine how special those friendships are to me.

One college friend gets out my way once a year or so on business. And although I am honored to call her friend, that word just doesn't do justice to the 30+ (ouch again) years we have known each other. We met my sophomore year and her freshman year, in our sorority. And realized that both of us had traveled hundreds of miles to Chicago and become friends when we grew up just 40 minutes from each other in...New Jersey!! A Jersey girl!! Kindred spirits. She became my pledge daughter (today the term is "Little" and "Big"), and subsequently, one of my closest friends. We went on spring break together, got to know each other's families, despaired over boys... Did I mention that she was also my maid of honor and I was one of her bridesmaids? And that after one huge, tight, heart-to-heart hug, we can pick up with each other no matter how many miles and how much time have separated us? Yup, it's just like that.

So when she hit town a few weeks ago, we met for dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants. Full disclosure: we shut the place down. How can you put a time limit on the catching up that two born and bred Jersey girls must do? Well, closing time did that, actually, and I'd like to once again thank the staff of that lovely restaurant for being so nice and not throwing dirty silverware at us to get us to leave. They were very civil.
Plungerhead Old Vine Zinfandel label
Close up of funny label.

And they kept the wine coming! Well, I guess to be technically correct, I started it by picking out a bottle of one of my favorite varietals: an Old Vine Zinfandel. It helped that it was from one of favorite wine locales, too: Lodi, California. And that it had a funny label.

The wine in question is Plungerhead Old Vine Zinfandel (2011, 14.5%, Lodi, CA). I have seen this wine around for a while and when I saw it on the wine list, I decided that it was high time to try it (plus my Winey Friend and I love our red wine).  It's 85% Zinfandel and is enhanced with
6% Barbera, 5% Carignane, 2% Petite Sirah and 2% Tempranillo.  The nose is full of cherry wood smoke and blackberry. In the mouth we got black cherry, mocha and a mix of green spices and herbs that I have heard called "Lodi spice". The finish was cherry chocolate and oak. Simply everything I adore about my Lodi Zins. We both loved it.

Since that dinner, I have actually gone out and bought more of Plungerhead because it was that good.  It runs about $13 a bottle, give or take a dollar or so. I am going to buy it again and again too, because I think this would be a great wine to serve at a dinner party. It would pair well with lots of different foods and would please a whole range of red wine sippers. 

Cheers to lifelong friends, and cheers to you all!



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