Best local zinfandel and Italian-style wines for the holidays
A list of the best Paso Robles wines for the holidays would not be complete without a section on zinfandel. It’s known as the Paso Robles heritage grape varietal. Great zinfandel wines from Paso Robles are typically full-bodied, fruity with aromas of berries, sometimes jammy, and usually of moderate to high alcohol content. They should pair well with roasted turkey, lamb, red meats and anything Italian you might be making for the holidays.
Top Paso Robles zinfandel and Italian-style wines for the holidays
Bianchi 2013 Zinfandel – $28
￼This zin is a robust, ruby-red wine, with spicy layers of cherry, raspberry and cinnamon flavors. It ends with a wonderful velvety vanilla clove finish. It will pair well with pork, turkey or lamb, especially with a sweet glaze.
Burbank Ranch 20132 Sangiovese – $38
While not a zinfandel, this Italian varietal offers some similarity with flair. It has plum notes right upfront followed by slight pepper and very smooth warm aftertaste and finish. While lighter red, it has fine legs on the glass. This wine pairs well appetizers through the final course.
Castoro Cellars 2015 Reserve Zinfusion – $24
Zinfusion has become a coveted wine among zin lovers. It’s a blend of Castoro’s best zinfandel vineyard lots with a hint of petite sirah. This ruby wine explodes with raspberry jam, rose petals, cherry pie, and wild strawberries. The vibrant, fruity body is balanced perfectly with the chalky tannins and a peppery spice finish.
Felten Cellars 2014 Zinfandel – $28
This small-production wine of just 96 cases, is created by using a blend of fruit picked from three award-winning vineyards. A nice mix of flavors bringing out a robust spicy taste with hints of blackberry and chocolate to add distinction. A flavorful balanced wine that pairs nicely with beef, pork, or even a chocolate dessert.
Opolo Vineyards 2013 Montagna-Mare – $28
Opolo Vineyards in Paso Robles combine the rich boldness of sangiovese and the freshness of barbera and you get an exceptional finish with this lovely wine. The wine offers hints of cranberries, cherry and mixed berries lingering, followed by a cedar finish. Drinks well with chicken and pasta.
Opolo Vineyards 2015 Forte Zinfandel – $40
This is a delicious medium-bodied, fragrant wine with a long finish. It provides aromas of spiced cherries, dark plum, chocolate, and fig. The initial flavor is followed by a nice mix of vanilla and that hint of bacon fat. This wine pairs nicely with beef, lamb, or poultry dishes.
Peachy Canyon 2015 Westside Zinfandel – $22
Our holiday zinfandel recommendations would not be complete without a nod to one of Paso Robles’ most-famed zin producers. This bottle delivers classic westside Paso Robles zinfandel flavors at a great price. This wine is flush with aromas of ripe fruit and baking spices. On the palate, look for red and black cherry, huckleberry, and dessert spices like vanilla and clove. Lush fruit and supple tannins lend structure to this delectable zin.
Pelletiere 2014 Sangiovese Riserva – $56
The 2014 Sangiovese will have you channeling your inner Italian. It’s velvety soft with aromas and flavors of blackberries and cherries. It will pair well with your holiday meal.
Rockin’ R 2012 Nirvana Zinfandel – $32
This zin shows balanced fruit and oak. Pair this with Italian menus, from red sauce pastas, to pizza, sausage, lasagna, and antipasti delights.
Victor Hugo 2014 Estate Zinfandel – $24
This wine brings intense aromas of red raspberry, boysenberry, along with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Full berry flavors lead the way in this wine followed by elegant tannins. The combination of flavors left a desirable long-lasting flavor on the palette. This wine pairs wonderfully with rich red sauces as well as seafood and chicken.
Vina Robles 2013 Zinfandel – $32
This classic zin shows ruby garnet colors. It has a delicious nose of red fruits and allspice. It delivers flavors of black raspberry and plum with notes of amaretto and spice. It will pair well with pork, lamb and filet mignon.
Vista Del Rey 2013 ‘Modelo Clasico’ Zinfandel – $25
“The light and fruity zinfandel is done in a classic style. It’s from Dave King’s 35-year-old dry-farmed vines off San Marcos Creek Road. The wine is a traditional approach to zinfandel. Its flavors are bold and flawless with 14.7-percent alcohol. It will pair well with a turkey dinner.
Paso Robles wine recommendations
• Best local sparkling wines for the holidays
• Best local rosé wines for the holidays
• Best local white wines for the holidays
• Best local zinfandel and Italian-style wines for the holiday
• Best local cabernet sauvignon and Bordeaux-style wines for the holidays
• Best local Rhone-style red wines for the holidays
• Best local dessert wines for the holidays
Publisher’s note: For the fourth year in a row we thought it would be a great idea to recommend local wines for upcoming holiday parties and dinners. Once again, we received an amazing amount of participation from our local wineries. Over the last few weeks, we received more than 100 entries. After tasting and tasting and tasting, there were many solid, well-made wines to recommend. We have created several lists of top local wines into categories. The recommended wines above are in alphabetical order.