There is one time of the year when one can put on a costume and disguise oneself, be somebody else and not be embarrassed or in trouble for doing it. HALLOWEEN. The most ghoulish and devilish time of the year! It’s fast approaching…Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock! Halloween has become a huge business. This time a year, at least in my neck of the woods, temporary Halloween shops pop up in strip malls everywhere. Of course, being that Halloween is my favorite holiday, I am just as crazed as all those people trying to scramble to get the right costume. As I peruse these shops to find a costume this year, the one thing I know is I’ll never have to disguise is my love of Zinfandel. (Wouldn’t it be fun to find a costume where I could dress up as a bottle of Zin? How awesome would that be? Sure would make for a good conversation piece!)
In 2009, while attending the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, I was given the opportunity to chat and rub elbows with the best of the best. At a poolside tasting at our hotel, I met Harry Wetzel, whose family owns and operates Alexander Valley Vineyards, near Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Starting off their family winery in the 1970s, the Wetzels have been a staple in Northern Sonoma County and have an outstanding history and reputation for quality and delicious wines. Harry and I had been online “friends” on Facebook so naturally, I was excited to meet him! I sampled several of his family’s wines and became an instant fan. When I got back home, I began to look around town for some of them.
I remembered that around Halloween time one year, I ran across a boxed set of three of their wines. “The Wicked Weekend” package, they called it. What a “Treat” this was going to be. Three of Alexander Valley Vineyards’ Zinfandels, with gorgeously wicked labels in a seductive little package--guaranteed Halloween fun! However, for me, it was not to be. I didn’t purchase the box at the time. Then in 2007, a friend of mine had one and was going to throw the packaging away. I asked her if I could have the box. She probably thought I was crazy! But instead, I was being crafty. I went out earlier this year and purchased three newer vintages of the wines and stored them in the box. My goal was to let them age a little. Right! That didn’t happen. Harry posted a tweet-up event memo on Facebook recently. It was a contest between Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Zinfandels. I didn’t open them at that time either. But boy, it got me thinking. So a couple weeks ago, slowly but surely, I made my way through all three wines! And guess what??? They’re going to turn everyone into a Zin Lover--even YOU!
While I am unsure if the winery is still selling these as a set of three with the box (those vintages were from 2005), newer vintages have been released since so have some fun with it! OK, let’s get started, shall we?
Here is the line-up: A Zin for each night of the weekend!!!
2007 Alexander Valley Vineyards Temptation Zin -A great starter Zinfandel , it tempts you with rich dark fruit, lingering spiciness and a smooth finish! For $12, no one should pass up this best buy!!
2007 Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin- This is more than likely the wine most people would be familiar with. I can honestly say this is the first bottle of their wines I had ever sampled and boy--what can I say? It is delicious! This one is dark, smooth, full of raspberry and pepper flavor--spicy as heck and so decadent!! (I even picked up a Sin Zin fake tattoo once. Maybe I’ll wear it for Halloween! )I’ve definitely become a fan of this wine. It should be a staple in every Zin lover’s wine collection.$20
So what could be even more decadent that what I’ve just mentioned??? The third of this line--2006 Alexander Valley Redemption Zin. Ah, this one’s a beauty! So smooth and elegant. All the turmoil and spicy heat of the previous two mellow into a velvety mélange of blackberry goodness with just a hint of spiciness on the finish. So nice…Drink this and “All Your Zins will Be Redeemed!” $21
Isn’t it time you discovered these beauties for yourselves? Alexander Valley Vineyards is located in the beautiful Alexander Valley region near Healdsburg, California. The winery has a tasting room and welcomes you to stop by for tastings.Their website, avvwine.com, is a great place to get more information. Their wines are also served in fine restaurants and distributed nationwide for easy access. Serve these award-winning wines at your Halloween party this year or anytime you feel like having a good Zin fest and you'll have a happy crowd! You can also find them on Twitter at @avvwinery and on Facebook.
From one Zin-lover to the next, have a Happy and Zin-ful Halloween!!!
"Clink-Clink" and Cheers to Everyone!
"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.