I don’t recall what it was that caused her to have this opinion, but for as long as I can remember, my wife hates the notion of even tasting Zinfandel. When I try to understand what exactly it is about a Zin that turns her off, she tells me not to force my “wine hobby” onto her. Here’s the rub…she really appreciates and loves the Napa Cabs we typically drink (Honig being her primary go-to). My experience with Zin is that it is typically more immediately approachable and pairs easier with a multitude of foods than does a Napa Cab. I also think it holds similar characteristics as a Cab. My guess is that she finds Zinfandel overly sweet and jammy, but I really don’t know.
So my question is are there Zins that resemble the profile of a Napa Cab?
Save yourself some money, if your wife doesn’t like the wine you don’t need to spend it on her. I learned my lesson awhile back. I stopped trying to convert my wife to wine about 4 hours into her saying “I don’t like wine”.
It’s pretty hard without knowing what it is that she objects to in the zin. What might help is if you told us what the last several zins she tried are, which might give us a clue whether it’s a certain style or quality that might be the issue.
My wild guess is that it’s not the “too sweet” issue. My guess would be that she, like many women (in my experience), isn’t fond of peppery flavors that you find in some syrahs and zins, and if you find ones that don’t have that character (typically riper ones, but it’s sort of case by case), she might like them more. Part of my guess, besides my experiences with women’s preferences, is that peppery flavors are rarely found in cabs, which she apparently likes.
If I’m on the right track here, and you poured her a smooth Seghesio, Carlisle, Hartford or Turley zin that didn’t have the black pepper dimension, maybe she would open her mind to it. Those are good examples of modern and smooth zins that are not super over the top (like The Prisoner, Martinelli, Rombauer) but that don’t have the rustic and peppery dimensions.
You could always pour it and give it to her without saying it’s a zin, and see if you happen to get a positive reaction before her preconceived views about zin kick in. Although you only get one or two shots at that before she’s going to develop the Zylberberg/Teixier response to unnamed glasses of wine handed to her.
I’m with Jeb, I’d much rather have a wife/GF with expensive wine tastes than generic tastes or who doesn’t drink wine. Wine is so much of a shared experience, plus the logistics of bottle sizes and all are so much better for two than one.
It’s been over 5 years since she’s tasted a Zin so I can’t even recall, which would be a great starting point if I could remember that! And for the pouring into a glass without her knowing, she won’t drink if she doesn’t see the bottle first! I’ve already tried that and failed…one and done.
I’m just thankful my wife likes to try wine and appreciates the experiences of Napa and Sonoma…two of the three times we’ve been, she’s been very pregnant! It was actually pretty great because her nose for the aromas and flavors in the wines was on another level. We typically hit up producers we both like and she enjoys the social aspect of talking with the folks at the tastings and enjoying the scenary and weather.