Friday, October 25, 2013

Zin, again!

So, speaking of Zinfandel, as we were doing the week before last, is Zin an American wine?  Well, sure, as long as we understand "American" in terms of our immigrant heritage.  In those terms, Zin is as American as anyone whose ancestors came from Croatia via Puglia in Southern Italy by way of Massachusetts to Napa; and better yet, it traveled that last lap in the hands of a 19th century Hungarian promoter!

A lot of this heritage, like the family tree of an American who got around to studying genealogy only recently, wasn't clearly understood until the past decade or so.  Zinfandel was long called a "mystery grape" because it had seemed to appear from nowhere in California Gold Rush days, hyped by a promoter named Agoston Haraszthy, who claimed that he had brought the rare grape to California from his native Hungary.

In fact, Haraszthy might have been the 19th century wine world's answer to P. T. Barnum.

Read this week's full 30 Second Wine Advisor, "Zin, Again", on