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Wine Spectator School

Class 10: Wine in Real Life

food pairing with zinfandel

Zinfandel is known for its ripe fruit as well as its tannins. This series of pairings demonstrates how the wine's fruit and tannins interact with salt, acidity and fat in food.



  1. Try your Zin.
  2. Now take a bite of the saltine.
  3. Immediately after swallowing it, take another sip of Zinfandel.

How does the Zinfandel taste now?
Does the wine seem smoother -or- slightly more tannic?

Although lightly salty foods can soften perceived tannin, very high levels of salt will increase the perceived tannin in red wine, making the wine seem more harsh, bitter and astringent.



  1. After tasting your Zin, take a bite of the Granny Smith apple.
  2. Immediately after swallowing it, take another sip of Zinfandel.

How does the Zinfandel...

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