Three Affordable Zinfandels Under $15

For someone who loves to cook and appreciates the art of pairing flavors and textures, becoming more educated about wine has been high on my 'to-do list.' Don't get me wrong, I'm not all that pretentious when it comes to wine, I just enjoy drinking it, and I'm not all that picky about it either.  But I have found when I choose just the right wine to go alongside a dish I've made, the wine vastly elevates the food and vice versa. Last week, I tried out a few bottles from one of my favorite varietals, zinfandel.

Zinfandel is a fruity, jammy, berry forward wine that tastes delicious on its own but is infinitely better when paired with meaty dishes. I tasted these three wines while cooking pork, steak, chicken and a ground bison red sauce pasta dish. The fruit forward quality of zinfandel balanced beautifully against these savory dishes. I picked up these three zins at Whole Foods during their most recent case wine sale, but all three are reasonably priced any day, and I highly recommend giving all of them a try. My personal favorite of the three was Manifesto. It was complex and easy to drink [maybe a little too easy!] and may trump my previous favorite zin [Seven Deadly Zins, $15.99]

Montevina $12.99

"A fruit-forward and sassy wine with irresistible cassis and pepper aromas lead into lush blackberry, ripe plum and spice flavors followed by a long, smooth finish."

Cline $9.99

"...a wide array of dark berry fruit including black cherry and strawberry. Additionally, spice notes and a lasting finish of vanilla from oak aging and firm, supple tannins add complexity to this wine...It pairs well with charcuterie, gumbo or grilled steak."

Manifesto $11.99

"...opens with luxurious notes of blackberry, black tea, and soft vanilla. Warm flavors of baker’s chocolate, baking spice, and cedar dance across your palate. This Zin is bright, flavorful, lean and clean- it’ll pair perfectly with your Grandma’s Famous Lasagna."