2021 Rombauer California Zinfandel

Rombauer winery has a superpower: food and wine pairing. This time it’s zinfandel with Ham Hand-Pies. Last time it was Chardonnay with Butter Chicken. Both times they nailed it.

Of course, it helps that Rombauer does a good job with the wines, to begin with. This zin was made with hand-picked grapes, blended from as many as 50 lots – with touch of petite sirah, and 14 months ageing in new American oak (along with various French oak) barrels.

The wine has a lovely brambly red fruit aroma and flavor. Though it feels light to begin with, more complex flavors emerge in the glass, over time.

So yes, do open the bottle an hour or so before you plan to pour it. And serve it with food. The flavors deepen and intensify, the fruit shading from bright red to dark red on the palate.

When I looked at the label, I was shocked to see that the alcohol is listed as 15.9%. (See how drinking wine with food helps ameliorate the effect of alcohol?)

WHO: Rombauer Vineyards

WHAT: 94% zinfandel, 6% petite sirah

WHERE: California

HOW MUCH: $37 (media sample)