2015 Fox Glove Zinfandel from Paso Robles, California is another wine under $20 we can recommend.
We bought Fox Glove because we wanted to experiment and try to find a red wine that might go with Indian food. Typically, tannins and higher alcohol in red wine amplify the perception of heat in spicy food, and spicy food increases the tannins making red wine taste bitter.
That's why it's best to pair spicy food with off-dry or sweet white wine to counterbalance the heat and avoid spice-tannin face-off in your mouth.
For this experiment, we thought that fruitiness and jamminess of Zinfandel might work, but as a back up we had a bottle of off-dry German Riesling.
On its own Fox Glove Zinfandel is one of the better ones we tasted with the price tag under $20. Typically, inexpensive Zins tend to have overripe fruit, alcohol over 15% and taste flabby due to lack of acid to counterbalance sugar and fruitiness. To our surprise, this Zin was different.
On the nose, it had all the hallmarks of Zinfandel with ripe dark berry and plum. On the palate, it had enough acidity and well-incorporated tannins to counterbalance the jammy raspberry and dark berry profile.
Now it was time to check if it can dance with the Indian food. As we expected Indian food slightly elevated otherwise balanced tannins and wine made food taste a bit spicier but they stayed tolerable.
The sweet and fruity character and of Zinfandel was able to stand up to the heat. Spice did take away some of the fruit and, while tannins became more pronounced, there was no bitterness.
Overall, we can say that Zinfandel and Indian combination worked because this particular Zinfandel fruity nature was complimented by rounded tannins, lower alcohol 14.5%, and enough acid. Did it work better than German Riesling? Probably not. But if you want red wine with your spicy food, it's worth a try. Just keep in mind that Zins tend to have 15-17% alcohol and that will take heat to the next level.
Have you ever tried spicy food with red wine? What worked?
#wineswinging #winetasting #wine #winelovers #zinfandel #california #redwine #wineandfood #tastingnotes
#foodie #winepairing #winelovers #wineadventure