Ever see “old vine” on a wine bottle? As the term might indicate, it means the vine from which the grapes came is…”old.”
There is no official or legal length of time to signify what is “old,” but usually it means at least 20 years, though many “old vines” are older than even the airplane or the automobile!
The most common popular “old vine” wine is Zinfandel – the red kind (hence, the term “White Zinfandel” to indicate a Zinfandel that is not red).
Generally, old vines produce fewer and fewer grapes from year to year, but they tend to be more flavorful, leading to more intense wines that nonetheless remain versatile enough to be aptly paired with a variety of foods.
A bottle of good Old Vine Zin will cost around $12 to $20 retail, and is just as appropriate on a holiday table with turkey, ham, and all the side dishes as it is the beverage of choice to accompany assorted cheeses and dips.
Take notice, wine enthusiasts – as you search for your new favorite wine, do not overlook the old.