Wilfred Wong is the popular Cellar Master at BevMo! His palate is highly regarded; his opinions matter a great deal. Please enjoy.

Winery images have been borrowed from the respective wineries’ Web sites; for emphasis and their promotional use, only. Wilfred’s image comes from his BevMo! wine blog page.

If you’d like to review more wine picks from Wilfred Wong, just search wine-blog for “Wilfred,” and all of his recommendations will be listed.

Meanwhile, enjoy his Zapped wine picks…

From my notebook: Notes from an extreme taster

Let’s get Zapped. ZAP 2014

By Wilfred Wong

As a veteran of the wine business, I’ve seen trends come and go, and Zin still seems hold its own. While Zin’s greatest stronghold remains in Northern California, there remains a global love for the varietal among those who love wine. My attendance at the ZAP Trade Tasting on Thursday, January 22nd at Rock Wall Winery confirmed that. I spoke with winemakers, winery proprietors, retail buyers, sommeliers, and consumers, and there was no short of interest.

I tasted 57 zins at the event and came away with more than just purple-stained teeth; I discovered some outstanding wines that I had never heard about. I will talk about them on my Facebook (Wilfred Wong [Willie]) and Twitter (@willieboysf), if you can track me down. At BevMo, our customers really like the stuff. Oh and yes, I have a few favorites that are currently on the BevMo shelves.

The 2011 Main & Geary is pretty amazing stuff, particularly in a difficult year. Juicy and loaded with beautiful berry flavors, this wine plays nicely on palate and shows fine generosity on the palate. At $17.95 BevMo retail, this wine is a pretty good deal.

I tasted my first Ridge Lytton Springs in the early 1970’s. The 1972, which was a pretty crummy vintage in California, yielded a truly delectable and well balanced wine. The 2011, which is just about out of stock, is well balanced and refined. Brambly and persistent, this is one of vintage’s top wines. BevMo Retail is $36.99.

As an iconic California wine, this is a wine that the serious wine aficionados should always experience. I first discovered Ravenswood Zinfandels with two incredible 1976 single vineyard offerings. Today the winery remains strong as a top producer of this varietal. The 2011 Ravenswood Lodi shows pleasing jamminess and a fine, layered texture on the palate. BevMo! Retail: $15.99.

While a few of my wine drinking buddies from the East Coast of the United States pretend to not like Zinfandel, you have to believe that if they have any kind of a wine cellar, they have a few Zins tucked away in their closet. This is a great time to be Zapped!

[This image has been borrowed from Joel Peterson’s Facebook page.]

Editor’s note: Rebecca Robinson, center, is the executive director of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers. She deserves great applause as the driving force energy behind this wine advocacy group, known as ZAP. From personal experience, I know that most days, we just grind our heels in and help build people’s wine brands… as their quiet advocates. Rebecca is the grandest of them all for ZAP. Good job, girl friend! When I saw this iconic image of her with two wine giants of Zinfandel… Paul Draper on her left and Joel Peterson on her right, I thought… “This picture says it all.”

I have to personally thank Paul Draper for his support with Petite Sirah. He’s one of my heroes, too, and his team will be pouring his Petite at Dark & Delicious on February 21, 2014.


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