Quivira 2004 Zinfandel

First, the empty bottle from this wine weighs a ton. Second, this bottle of 2004 Quivira Zinfandel cost us $28, is 14.5% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure. Only 425 cases of this wine were produced.

In this wine, I found blackberry, spices and cedar on the nose. This is not a huge zin like I am used to, it seems more reserved in the mouth. The fruit flavors don’t jump out and drown your palate. Instead, it’s silky smooth in the mouth, showing raspberries, blackberries and bit of peppery spice.

This is a really well balanced zin, and certainly not a “fruit bomb” despite the 14.5% alcohol by volume. It didn’t overwhelm our dinner at all, which many zins tend to do unless you serve them with a really big meal: smoky bbq or a huge steak. I served it with a bread crumb and parmesean baked tilapia filet over a bed of creamy parmesean polenta and steamed broccoli florets on the side.


Pizza Paradiso

On Friday we headed out to Pizza Paradiso, our favorite pizza place in the area. Now, Pizza Paradiso isn’t known for it’s wine selection, but instead it’s beer selection. They have over 20 beers on tap, many of which are really unique and I haven’t seen them elsewhere. However, I still really like some wine with my pizza.

I’ve tried most of the whites on the list and I don’t like the way they taste after you’ve had any tomatoes. So I’ve moved on to the reds and I usually go with the special selection, and Friday was no exception. That night it was a 2005 Feudo Maccari Renoto, which was selling for $7 for a glass and $26 for the bottle. I opted for the glass since Matt wanted one of the beers.

The wine is a blend of 85% Nero D’Avola and 15% Syrah. I have a bone to pick with Pizza Paradiso. They serve their wine in tall skinny juice glasses and some of their beers in wine glasses. This frustrates me because it really detracts from the wine. Additionally, it’s served simply too warm. Pizza Paradiso is full of brick ovens to make the pizza. The place is not cool and the wine at room temp is not so appealing.

As to the actually wine, I got earth and raisins on the nose. In the mouth red currants and raisins showed. After a little while, red cherries came through. Throughout the whole glass there were spices and at the end I would say a hint of tobacco. I would guess this retails for somewhere between $11 and $16 given the cost in the restaurant and for that price, this would be a great value in a red. It went pretty well with my pizza of choice, a Pizza Paradiso made with fresh tomatoes and fresh Buffalo mozzarella. Though I will say I appreciated the glass of ice cold Red Raspberry Draft that was on special that I ordered after I finished my wine.