Wine: Hendry Ranch Zinfandel
Zinfandel, I apologize. I've been saying for so long that the tendancy toward high alcohol in your wines is starting to annoy me, but recently I've been proven wrong. Constantino's "The Zin" is a hugely alcoholic yet wonderful wine, and after tasting Hendry Ranch's 2001 Zinfandel, I'm convinced that something can really work even when you're approaching 16% alcohol by volume.
Packed with blackberry and cassis notes and blooming with the pleasant scent of great foods on the grill (charcoal, barely a hint of vinegar, and game), the Hendry is a fine example of a wine that can taste wonderful without being overwhelming even while it is turning you into a tipsy fool with only a large glass or two. Deep rich color makes this a Zinfandel worth gazing upon (which works quite well, since it pays off if you take your time with this one).
Last night, I shared another Nero D'Avola and I must admit that while I enjoyed it I was thinking back to the Hendry. The Zinfandel was well-matched with a grilled beef tenderloin (which, strangely enough, we grilled as we ate our homemade tuna tartare).
Color & Clarity: 3.5
Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.