Scary Good Drinks: Zinzilla King of the Disappointing Wines

“By the light of the full moon, Zinzilla erupts from the deep within the Zinfandel vineyards of California. A monster vine Zinfandel, producing intense powerful fruit that devastates other varietals and catapults Zinfandel to the forefront of California wines. Full bodied, Zinzilla expresses dense layers of raspberries, chocolate, pepper, and spice.”

So reads the legend printed on each bottle of Zinzilla, produced by the McNab Ridge Winery of Ukiah California.

Don’t you believe it.

Perhaps my experience with this Zinfandel was just a self fulfilling prophecy, as the moment I picked up the bottle I anticipated an underwhelming experience. Doubtlessly named in a blatant attempt to cash in on the anticipation of Godzilla King of the Monsters, my suspicions about the quality of what I would be testing across my tastebuds were set by the sheer fact that despite the name being an homage to the great King of the Monsters, it is impossible to look at he image on the label and not see Groot of Guardians of the Galaxy fame. Yes, I know that is meant to be a Zinfandel vine, but the sheer timing of the most recent Avengers film alone makes it impossible to separate the two out.

In doing some research about this particular vintage, my expectations were only lowered further. For on the website McNab Ridge Winery developed for this wine they do indeed have footage of Japanese kaiju monster films-but of Gamera. And Gamera vs Guiron no less, easily one of the most mundane of the Gamera titles. All of Monster Island weeps for this injustice.

Upon uncorking I found the bouquet of this wine to be rather unremarkable, completely lacking in any of the exotic influences cited by the legend. Upon pouring I found the color to be the first pleasant thing I had experienced thus far, with a deep and rich red perfectly suitable to a fine brew. But the taste proved an experience that left my mouth filled with a taste as bitter as the 1998 Tristan Godzilla. Simply put, I found the flavor completely devoid of raspberries, chocolate, pepper, or spice. What instead met my tongue was a rancid witch’s brew that left me with stomach acid fit to bring about some atomic breath of my own. I had not been this disappointed by anything Godzilla related since the day I first played Godzilla on Gameboy.

While I confess myself on great connoisseur, I do knot what I like-and this was not it. About the only promise the label lived up to was that I found the texture to indeed be full of body-just not the kind that I would want to see walking around barely clad on the beach. Although it may seem a reasonable get for the price of 13.99, there are definitely much better zinfandel’s to be had for the same amount. Should you choose to brave it, I strongly suggest you break out the radiation suit and Geiger meter, lest the mutations take a hold of you as well!


Posted by Daniel Ryan

I am a 36 year old man from New Jersey with a lifelong passion for horror, science fiction, true crime, and cryptozoology. I will do my utmost to be a worthwhile contributor to House of Tortured Souls.

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