Barefoot Zin vs Ravenswood Vintners Reserve

The Zinfandel is my favorite of the Barefoot offerings, and The Lady of the house and I tasted it blind against Ravens Wood Vintners Blend 2008 Zinfandel.

Running the numbers

I measured the pH, titratable acidity, and specific gravity of these two wines and combined them with the reported alcohol content in the table below. As you can see, they’re very similar:

Measurement Barefoot Ravens Wood
Alcohol: 13.5% 13.5%
Specific Gravity: 0.994 0.994
pH: 3.4 3.5
Titratable Acidity: 5.5 6

I strongly encourage you to measure and record as much as you can about the commercial wines you drink. Why? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a trained lab technician and getting more practice will improve our technique. Some wineries publish their own analysis, and you can compare your own results against theirs – that’s valuable feedback that you can’t get on your rhubarb wine!

Knowing how a wine analyzes out can help you when you’re tasting that wine. That’s because you can learn why a wine tastes the way it does (or two similar wines taste different). Write down your measurements and your tasting notes often enough and you’ll begin to see patterns. Were those full bodied reds you like finished sweet or dry? How about those bracing whites that were so good in the summer? How come one acidic white was an easy drinker but the other one was so harsh? You’ll accumulate a lot of data, it will be tailored to you own tastes, and you can use that in your own winemaking. So instead of adding the juice of half a lemon because someone in an online forum said so, you’ll learn how to consistently make wine the way you like it – start measuring and take notes!

Barefoot a better value

We both thought the Ravens Wood was more complex. I thought that made it lively and a slight favorite over the Barefoot. The Lady of the House thought barefoot had a bold taste without being harsh and was like, “one solid note.” The Ravens Wood was like an orchestra with potential that hadn’t practiced together. Even though I liked the Ravens Wood a little better, it costs about 80% more (using the best prices I’ve seen) and it’s not that much better.

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