Smoking Loon Zinfandel Pairing

Here is what we decided today to pair with today’s dinner — Pizza.

Today’s Zinfandel Pick

Smoking Loon Zinfandel

This wine comes from Smoking Loon Wineries. Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel is a full-bodied and rich wine with a deep ruby color. Zinfandel is a grape variety that is primarily grown in California. It is a versatile grape that can be used to produce both red and white wines. Zinfandel is known for its bold, fruity flavors and high alcohol content, making it a favorite among wine enthusiasts.

Our impressions of this wine

Ada Blythe


This was a little less full bodied than some Zinfandels we’ve had but it was very good. I’d consider it a medium bodied and fruity wine. It went well with the pizza, a very nice casual dinner wine.

My rating-

Rick— If you like fruity wine, this is a good choice. It made me want to gulp it down as a thirst-quenching fruit juice. I would totally buy this again. Doesn’t make it to the favorites list but it was close. A very good match for pizza.

My rating-

Smoking Loon Zinfandel Taste Profile

On the nose, it has aromas of blackberry, raspberry, and black pepper, with a hint of vanilla and oak. On the palate, it is jammy and fruit-forward, with flavors of black cherry, plum, and dark chocolate. The tannins are firm but well-integrated, providing structure and balance to the wine. The finish is long and smooth, with a touch of spice and a hint of sweetness. Overall, Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel is a complex and flavorful wine that showcases the best of California Zinfandel.

RegionCalifornia, USA
Tasting Notes
AppearanceDeep ruby red
Nose– Blackberry and raspberry aromas
– Hints of black pepper and vanilla
Palate– Rich and full-bodied
– Jammy fruit flavors of black cherry and plum
– Spicy notes of cinnamon and black pepper
– Smooth tannins
FinishMedium to long, with a touch of oak
Food Pairing– Grilled meats
– BBQ dishes
– Spicy cuisine
– Hard cheeses
Alcohol ContentApproximately 14.5%

Smoking Loon Vineyards

Smoking Loon is a wine brand known for producing affordable and approachable wines primarily sourced from California’s wine regions. The brand is part of Don Sebastiani & Sons, a family-owned winery based in Sonoma, California. Here’s some more information about Smoking Loon Wineries:

Smoking Loon produces a wide range of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel. The winery is particularly known for its red blends, which are made by blending different grape varieties to create complex and flavorful wines.

The winery is named after the loon, a bird known for its distinctive call and its ability to dive deep underwater. The Smoking Loon logo features a loon with a smoking cigar in its beak, which represents the winery’s irreverent and playful approach to winemaking.

  1. History: Smoking Loon was introduced in 2000 by Don Sebastiani & Sons. The brand was created with the goal of offering high-quality, varietal wines at reasonable prices, making it accessible to a wide range of wine enthusiasts.
  2. Philosophy: Smoking Loon takes a laid-back and whimsical approach to winemaking. The name “Smoking Loon” itself is a nod to the California common loon, a bird known for its distinctive calls. The brand aims to produce wines that are enjoyable and unpretentious, focusing on the character and flavor of the grapes.
  3. Varietal Focus: Smoking Loon produces a range of varietal wines, including Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, among others. Each wine is crafted to express the unique characteristics of its grape variety and California terroir.
  4. Winemaking Approach: The winemaking team at Smoking Loon focuses on sourcing grapes from various vineyards throughout California. They aim to capture the essence of the grape and the region in each bottle. The winemaking style is often fruit-forward and approachable, making their wines suitable for a broad audience.
  5. Sustainability: Don Sebastiani & Sons, the parent company of Smoking Loon, is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly winemaking practices. They have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize their impact on the environment.
  6. Affordability: Smoking Loon wines are generally known for their affordability. They offer a budget-friendly option for those looking to explore California wines without breaking the bank.
  7. Availability: Smoking Loon wines are widely available in the United States and can be found in many liquor stores, supermarkets, and online retailers.
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