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FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

Rhymes with Sin

The new Zinfandel makers knew that marketing was the key to their survival. They targeted new wine drinkers seeking something different and distinctive. Using a winning combination of unique, festive wine events and an edgy sense of humor, they aimed to take the “stuffiness” out of wine. Free-spirited wine drinkers could choose between a glass of The Seven Deadly Zins, Cardinal Zin, Sin Zin, and other vintages that reflected a playful approach to wine.

T-shirt, 2002

When Joel Peterson’s partner suggested he make a White Zin, he responded: “No pink, sweet, wimpy wine, no way.” The motto appears on Ravenswood’s T-shirts and bumper stickers, sometimes in slightly naughty and very free translations such as Nullum Vinum Flaccidum (Latin) and Kayn Nebbishy Vayn (Yiddish). Gift of Joel Peterson.

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“7th Annual Zinfandel Festival” poster, 1998

Annual promotional festivals promised a light-hearted time with “good eats and zinfandel pairings;” “a blue jeans and black tie auction;” and the “world’s largest zinfandel tasting.”  They also offered workshops and conversations with winemakers. Gift of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers.

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Zinfandel festival, about 2000

Zinfandel festival, about 2000

The annual Zinfandel Festival, a several-day event in San Francisco, attracted more than 6,000 people in 2000. The festival helps fund the research on old vines and vineyards and perpetuates the connection between fun, good wine and food that is key to ZAP’s mission.

Courtesy of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers