Zinfandel arrived in the eastern United States in the 1820’s and made its way to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada range during California’s gold rush. The 2011 Middle Ridge Temecula Valley expression of Zinfandel is light and elegant with aromas of blackberry jam, fig, raisin and a hint of black pepper. These aromas are mirrored on the palate, with a nice medium-long rum raisin finish. This is a very versatile wine. Pair it with creamier semi-soft cheeses like Comte or the Basque sheeps’ milk cheese-Ossau Iraty, also with macadamia encrusted halibut or an herb crusted leg of lamb, even roasted heirloom cherry tomato and shrimp pasta with olive oil and parmigiana reggaino. Think global cuisine!