We asked Christina Turley (of Turley Wine Cellars in California) a bit about how she found her way into wine...and what she's drinking now.
'Zinfandel' on Serious Eats
I have trouble keeping track if zinfandel is terribly uncool or totally hip again, and honestly, it doesn't really matter that much either way. It's a wine that many folks reach for when Thanksgiving comes around, and a good juicy zin can be delicious alongside turkey with the works. We tasted through a wide range of zinfandels to choose a dozen winners for your holiday table.
My love story with Zinfandel started at a small winery in Healdsburg, California called A. Rafanelli. Their Zins are ripe, slightly spicy, and just plain delicious. The only problem was that I lived in New York, and so I've had to put a lot of effort into this long distance relationship. My first trip there, I took back 2 bottles, the next 4, and before I knew it, I was sacrificing extra underwear in my suitcase to make space for all the wine. (Totally kidding...underwear is one of the best shock absorbers to prevent breakage during transit.)
I once believed that people drank Zinfandel at Thanksgiving just for its theoretical charm; though it didn't originate here, it's often touted as the 'All-American' grape because it's such a popular varietal to grow in California. Zin's berrylicious flavor is approachable and its rich, glycerin-like texture is attractive to New World-winelovers who like big, luscious wines.
I'm on a press trip in Napa and Sonoma this week checking out the harvest at Louis M. Martini and seeing firsthand how they make wine. (Tough life, I know.) There are plenty of excellent sips and bites to be had, but standing at the top of Monte Rosso in the blazing afternoon sun, the success of the pairing we tried took me by surprise.