In Italy Zinfandel is named Primitivo, but in the States it has been made famous by White Zinfandel (rosé) wine and heady Californian reds. A grape variety that originated in Croatia, Zinfandel is a relatively thin skinned grape which grows in tight clusters so it has the drawback of ripening unevenly which can cause viticulture problems. It really needs the heat of California, Croatia or Southern Italy to ripen fully. White Zinfandel took off in the 1970s and 80s, a blush rosé wine full of the sweet taste of strawberries with a rich creaminess. It is often blended with a little Muscat or Riesling to add additional floral aromas, complementing the strawberry flavours. The rosé is ideal for drinking on its own whereas the reds are great with strong flavours such as pasta with parmesan shavings or barbecued meats.

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