Thursday, August 17, 2017

Zinzinnati–a misnomer!! Our Oktoberfest has no Zin!

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Posted by Burke Morton On September - 2 - 2009

A lederhosen lover...Oktoberfest is looming, and ours in Cincinnati, which is apparently the largest one this side of Munich, is called Zinzinnati. Or more accurately, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. My wife and I moved to Cincinnati in 2002, so the party that fall was my first exposure to our local Oktoberfest. Given its name, I figured that it was actually a well-advertised off-shoot of the real Oktoberfest, where, instead of drinking Märzen, it was a mega-party where everyone is slurping down an ocean of ZINFANDEL!!!!

But noooooooooooooo!

Instead, it's just proprietary name that, I suppose, accounts for the way a German says a 'z' (at "tz" sound, as you would find in Mozart)--therefore a crisply spoken "Cincinnati"....

No Zin? WTF?

I have a friend (L.R. Hunley, if you care to know.) who used to run the show at a restaurant in Cincinnati called Teller's (which is still housed in a building that was once a bank). The first time I went there, many years ago now, he had a "Zinzinnati" wine list that was populated entirely by, no shock here, Zinfandel. The list of Zins may have been available entirely by the glass...but I don't remember now: I met my wife there for lunch one day and she had to drive me home, because I had to try some of the Zins that I'd never seen before, and Zinfandel can be fairly high in alcohol....

I had a blast tasting all those Zins, and who wouldn't? Wine isn't a snobby thing, it's just the snobs who make it so. Ergo, it's a perfect drink to have at an Oktoberfest named ZinZinnati!

There's already a grassroots element in place: we have a local chapter of ZAP (unofficial, but still sanctioned by the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) where 15-30 people get together once a month, each bringing a glass and a bottle of Zinfandel. An Oktoberfest could be the same thing, just on a larger scale (without the glassware though, or the BYO). Most people would love this, by the way. It would be a blast to have a booth of Zin providers Downtown, right there on Fountain Square--next to the booth that ought to be selling Paulaner Märzen (don't get me started on that) would be perfect.

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