Commentary: Wine vs. Junk

Share |
(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 24, 2006

There's a sweet irony in the fact that Carole Migden wants to make Zinfandel the official state wine.

Migden is a state senator from San Francisco who is constantly popping off about the Central Valley. A few years ago, she had the audacity to claim that Central Valley smog had little to do with pollution drifting in from the Bay Area. Instead, she said - and I'm quoting her here - it came from our "junk heaps" and tire dumps.

Given such comments, it is hard for me, a valley boy, to send Migden any kind of valentine. But there is one subject so righteous that it justifies the suspension of hostilities. That subject… Zinfandel.

Migden wants to honor Zinfandel, and in doing so, she honors a piece of Central Valley history. Early pioneers brought Zinfandel vines here from Europe. Now they produce a wine that is rich, jammy and surprisingly potent.

Some Bay Area wine snobs think Cabernet is more deserving. They need to get out of town. Migden should bring them here. Pour them a glass of Lodi Zinfandel. A nice way to unwind after touring our junk heaps and tire dumps.


Stuart Leavenworth, when he’s not sampling local products, writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.