Disclaimer:  I received this wine as a sample.

As I see it, there are two primary benefits of having ones family living nearby – first, free, local babysitting.  Second – an abundance of options with regard to holiday meals (ok, I’m sure there are other benefits to having family nearby).  Although my son is out of the baby-sitting age range, we do take advantage of the multiple holiday meals.

As part of our Christmas holiday weekend, we participated in three family holiday dinners – one of the dinners, my wife and I hosted at our home.   To compliment our dinner expertly prepared by my wife under my supervision, I opened a bottle of Benovia 2007 Zinfandel.

Other than Pinot Noir, I feel Zinfandel is the ideal ‘ol standby for holiday meals.  I received this wine several months ago, but held this especially for our holiday meal.

I’ve tried a handful of Benovia wines, and have really liked each one of them so I had high expectations for theirs Zin.  The grapes for this Zin came from the Cohn Vineyard, planted at the northern end of Russian River Valley in 1975.

Benovia 2007 Sonoma County Zinfandel

This is the ‘juiciest’ wine I’ve had in quite some time.  Every sip reminded me of blackberry, blueberry and kirsch fruit gusher along with red licorice, plums and pepper.  At 15.8% alcohol I expected more heat, but this wine was very well balanced and integrated.  $38/bottle retail. Less than 200 cases produced.

Unfortunately this wine was such a crowd pleaser I was only able to have one glass. Drinking this wine surrounded by my family during the holiday made it even better.