The Beverage & Food Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel recommends a lineup of outstanding red zinfandels and other top-quality wines.

While sales of cabernet sauvignon and merlot continue to pace red wine varietal sales, consumption of zinfandel is also growing among U.S. consumers. Indeed, the steady upsurge in U.S. table wine sales, especially reds, has positively affected the vast majority of varietals as well as many blends.

The overall statistics continue to astound. ACNielsen figures through March 1998 note a 19.7% increase in dollar volume of domestic red table wine in supermarket and drug store outlets versus year-end figures through March 1997. And imported red table wine showed an eye-opening 30.9% dollar volume increase during that same period of time.

These statistics serve to underline the extensive industry-wide overview published in Adams Wine Handbook 1998, which shows total U.S. wine consumption increasing 2.3% in 1997, with imported and domestic table wine sales doing even better.

With this in mind, we asked members of the Beverage & Food Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel to select the best zinfandels they have recently tasted, as well as any additional wines they can recommend. Each wine includes a rating, brief tasting notes and the suggested retail price (which varies from market to market)


— Richard Brandes

Rating System

Five Stars (92-100)

A top-flight wine. Superior in taste and character and
providing an outstanding price/value relationship.

Four Stars (86-91)

A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back.

Three Stars (80-85)

An above-average wine, at a reasonable price point,
which many customers will enjoy.

Two Stars (70-79)

An average wine.

One Star (50-69)

A below-average wine.


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