Zin Zen Wine Bistro – A Neighborhood Jewel in McKinney
“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.” – John Keats
Prior to Prohibition, much of the wine consumed or made in the United States was done so in warehouses that were located near major urban centers such as New York or San Francisco. As drinking tastes and neighborhoods have evolved, urban wineries and bistros are gaining in popularity. Zin Zen Wine & Bistro was established in 2006 as the first fine wine and food establishment nestled in Adriatica Village in McKinney, TX. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in January, after a full morning of activities, I made the trip to Zin Zen with a few of my family members.
Adriatica Village is on the west side of McKinney. The wine bar is an intimate setting featuring over 80 different wines, daily menu specials, and regular musical performances. The bistro has an incredible art-deco wall next to the stage made up of crates with unique designs from the various wineries and vineyards. The seating is comfortable and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. Zin Zen also hosts weddings and other special events. The owners at Zin Zen are active in the community with their support of multiple organizations.
On our visit, I tried a flight of West Coast Chardonnays; Byron from Santa Maria (www.byronwines.com), Girard (www.girardwinery.com) from Russian River Valley and Talbott “Logan” (www.talbottvineyards.com) from Santa Lucia, Highlands. Zin Zen features an assortment of flights to choose from for those of you who have a streak of adventure. Zin Zen flights have fanciful names such as “Zinful Zins,” “Whimsical Whites” and “Vive la France” being three out of their 11 pairings.
Byron is a buttery Chardonnay with lots of fruit forward aromas of orange and pear. The wine palate features hints of spice and minerals. It is a complex Chardonnay and averages between 91 –93 points in the various critic reviews. The grapes are harvested in Santa Maria at the Byron Nielson Vineyard. This vineyard has been in existence since 1964 and produces estate wines. Byron Chardonnay averages $25 per bottle and is a good wine if you like a little of the buttery taste, with an abundance of fruit to balance it out.
The Russian River Valley region is known for several vineyards that produce high quality California terroir Chardonnay. Girard Chardonnay is a bright; acidic white wine that has a hint of French Oak tastes without exhibiting characteristics of butter. Instead, this wine has hints of orange, lemon zest, and pear with a creamy finish. The Russian River Valley has a cooler climate owed to a nightly layer of fog. This cool climate allows the grapes to ripen at a slower rate. At $19 per bottle, this is a great wine for everyday drinking.
The last wine in my flight is a creamy, complex “Logan” Chardonnay from Talbott. Talbott produces Chardonnay that is either sourced from vineyards in Sleepy Hollow or the Santa Lucia Highlands. The is a complex Chardonnay with a rich French Oak and butter taste. It has a floral bouquet of pear, apple, and citrus. There is a mild level of acid leaving a full, rich taste on the palate. This is a long finishing Chardonnay that can be enjoyed with food or alone. This is also a reasonable offering at $23 per bottle on average.
My family chose pastas and paninis as our lunch meal, and they were excellent. Zin Zen offers a wide selection of freshly prepared foods for both lunch and dinner. They also offer meat and cheese trays for those times when you want something light to pair with your wine. Check out their website or like them on Facebook to be notified about upcoming musical performers as well.
If you are leisurely looking for a relaxing environment on an afternoon or enjoying a late-night date, visit Zin Zen Wine & Bistro. Try one of their flights and I am sure that you will find a few new selections to add to your cellar.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
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