Drink of the Week: Terra d’Oro’s 2018 Zinfandel

This week’s featured drink is Terra d’Oro’s 2018 Zinfandel.
Rob Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

I can talk until I’m blue in the face about how many great wineries we have just down the hill from Tahoe. Wineries we consider local. Whether that’s El Dorado or its southern bordering Amador County, we are truly lucky to have this kind of region within arms distance producing the wines they produce. This week we dive into one of my favorite wines: Zinfandel. Actually, most wines are my favorite, but this week’s feature is truly a delight.

Zinfandel is a swipe right grape for the region due to its prime soil conditions and surrounding Sierra Nevada range. While this wine is primarily zinfandel (85%), you do have others (petite sirah, teroldego, and barbera) poking about to help round out the flavor.

The result is a light and easy swirl around the nose at first smell. You know how some zins give you that big pungent hit that makes you wonder exactly what you’re getting yourself into? Not here. The aromas are vibrant, but subdued, and spicy, yet mellowed.

Rich berries and slight earthy tones join at the hip for a supremely well-balanced sip. Tannins, which can sometimes make or break a zin, are so supremely integrated that you hardly even know they’re there. All of this builds up to a finish like the Energizer Bunny – it just keeps going and going. And, quite frankly, you don’t want it to stop. It’s a super smooth palate pleaser.

I’m not quite sure why red wine on a cool fall evening is so enjoyable, but it is. Sit out on the back porch, and sip on this while you barbecue a steak and all will be right with the world. That is until you finish the bottle before the steak is done. No worries, though. This wine is so enjoyable that opening a second bottle right after finishing the first is a conga line you’ll want to join in on. Cheers!

You can visit the Terra d’Oro tasting room at 20680 Shenandoah School Rd. in Plymouth, CA (currently by reservation only). For wine and ordering information, visit them online at

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