I’ve been on a bit of a Zinfandel binge, lately. Sure, it originated in Europe, but I think of Zin as an all-American grape varietal. The stuff simply excels here. For a really solid, benchmark, economical California Zin, look no further than Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 ($12.99).
There’s a ladybug on the label, a subtle reminder that Predator winery, located in Lodi, Calif., practices “natural predation” – an eco-friendly strategy to control harmful bugs and other critters without the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Ladybugs are a natural predator.
I loved this wine with a rich ragu of spicy Italian sausage and San Marzano tomatoes over rigatoni. Its bright blackberry and white-pepper flavors play off nicely against the tangy tomato sauce. Stock up for winter!