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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She tastes New Zealand wines and California Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

A Zinfandel Fit for a Pile of Beans

Murphy-Goode Zinfandel Sonoma County Liar’s Dice 2006

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: January 11, 2010

I can’t get enough of Rancho Gordo’s dried heirloom beans. I’ve been putting them into soups, stews, chilis, casseroles and salads for years, but I’m always amazed at how little they need to show off their deep flavors and creamy textures—just a little olive oil and sea salt.

The other night I dressed up a fresh pot of Scarlet Runner beans with sautéed shitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms, and topped that with just a sprinkling of sautéed diced bacon. I needed a bold wine to match this hearty bowl of comfort food, so I reached for a Zinfandel.

It was the Murphy-Goode Zinfandel Sonoma County Liar’s Dice 2006 ($21). Several months had passed since I last tried a bottle, but I recall liking this red for its jammy, ripe fruit flavors. They were still singing. The sweet-tasting fruit flavors and toasty vanilla notes worked really well with the smoky notes of both the bacon and the beans. The wine was plush and vibrant; it not only complemented my meal, but was great on its own for an additional post-meal glass. I rated it 88 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Murphy-Goode Zinfandel Sonoma County Liar’s Dice 2006 (89, $21).

Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated California Zinfandels, along with our quick list of Top Values in Zinfandel.

Mark Lewis
Napa —  January 11, 2010 12:44pm ET
I have always liked the Murphy-Goode Liars Dice for the same reasons you do. It is fruity and is works as well with food or by itself.
Susan Sevig
lakeland, fl usa —  January 11, 2010 3:13pm ET
what about the 2007 vintage?? thats the one I found
Jason Carey
willow, ny usa —  January 11, 2010 4:40pm ET
Its too bad rancho Gordo's beans are so over priced.
Maryann Worobiec
Napa, CA —  January 11, 2010 7:24pm ET
Susan, haven't tried the 07 yet, but look forward to it.

Jason, I can't argue that Rancho Gordo beans are more pricey than the beans you'll find in most supermarkets, but they are far and beyond the quality of anything else I've tried. Even if a pound costs $5 or $6, I average about 5-6 servings of protein from that pound, and that is still a value to me!

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