Drink review: McManis Zinfandel

With berry notes and a versatile pairing palate, this French and American oak matured Zinfandel is the red you need this winter. 

As our layer count creeps upwards in the winter, so too does our desire to crack open a bottle of great red wine as the dark evenings draw in. While California's prestige for excellent grapes is well established, with its diverse soil and climate, it can be tough to choose the perfect bottle. 

If you're looking for more than a hand-scrawled recommendation in the vintages section, we're pointing you towards one of our current favourites; McManis Family Vineyards. The McManis family – who has been making wine for 20 years with fruit grown by fifth-generation farmers, Ron & Jamie McManis – is producing some incredible wines of late. 

The family released McManis Zinfandel 2018 this year, a silky smooth wine made from grapes harvested exclusively from the Lodi appellation. The savoury red is full of ripe berry flavours, so if you like a bold, fruity wine, you need to start stocking up before Christmas. While its versatility is far-reaching, we enjoyed the Zinfandel with steak – so much so that we're reconsidering our dinner for the big day. 

McManis wines are also vegan-friendly, so if you're making a meat-free meal, you can rest assured that it'll still go great with veggies like Portobello mushrooms.