Zin for beginners – Edmeades Zinfandel



For many wine drinkers,

Zinfandel is the wine they love to hate. 


This assessment is, in many cases, justified. 


It’s an easy-to-grow grape (in warm climates) and

relatively easy-to-make wine. 

This has resulted in a surplus of inexpensive zin

of questionable quality.   

Low-end zinfandel is often described as “jammy”,

“overripe” or “highly alcoholic”. 


Then there’s this colorful description that I found online.

It comes not from a wine critic but from a regular consumer

who took their evaluation of zinfandel

to a higher and certainly more humorous level. 


“One glass and the next thing you know,

you could blow flames from your mouth

as if you’re a cast member at a Hawaiian luau.”




Basic RGB

It’s Wine Thursday!   

This is our regular feature in which we spotlight

a good wine that sells at a reasonable price

and is easy to find at retail and online. 


This week’s wine goes against the low-end zinfandel norm.

It’s not overripe, it’s not jammy and

it won’t transform your mouth into a blowtorch.




Where it’s from  

Perhaps you’ve heard of the early California wine company,

Italian Swiss Colony.  At one time the leading

wine producer in the state, Italian Swiss Colony

was probably better known for it’s kitschy television commercials

than for the quality of its product.   

The tag line…”that little old winemaker, me”…

became ingrained in 60’s popular culture.

Italian Swiss Colony was based in Mendocino County. 

While Edmeades’ winery is located further south,

in Geyserville, the grapes sourced for this week’s featured wine

are grown in the same Medocino County highlands

where Italian Swiss Colony built its one-time empire.


What it is

Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast came up with a perfect summary

of Edmeades Zinfandel.  ‘It’s the kind of wine that a

beginning wine drinker would appreciate and

a jaded wine reviewer would be happy to sip.”


Spot on. 


There’s nothing over-the-top or overbearing here.

Edmeades adds 16% Syrah to this blend,

leading to a more elegant, leaner style of zin. 

The flavors of spice and fruit are subtle. 

It’s dry with solid acidity. 


Zinfandel for beginners?

Yes.  It’s an easy drinker.


But there’s also a degree of balance and sophistication

that’s rare at this price point…especially in zinfandel. 


Where to buy it   

BevMo lists its price for Edmeades Zinfandel at $12.87. 

You’ll find it at Safeway, Total Wine, Fred Meyer,

QFC and Vons for $17.99.   

You can order it from K & L Wine Merchants for $14.95  


It’s the same price at Empire Wine, $14.95  


It’s $15.84 at Woods Wholesale Wine  


and you can buy it from The Wine Buyer for $15.99