Deadly zins

Photo By illustration by mark stivers

Located just 40 minutes south of Sacramento, Lodi is a somewhat of a hidden gem for good wine tasting. Less expensive, crowded and touristy than Napa, Lodi boasts more than 80 wineries—many of which are known for producing crisp and sweet zinfandels. This weekend, a number of Lodi wineries celebrate the city’s eighth-annual ZinFest Wine Festival, which features wine tours and a special wine-pairing dinner. The weekend-long celebration begins at 6 p.m. on Friday night with a pairing of local cuisine and zinfandel wine for $85. Saturday’s festival activities, happening from noon to 5 p.m. at Lodi Lake Park, will feature 50 wineries pouring 250 different wines, as well as live music and cooking demonstrations (cost: $45-$55; a designated-driver ticket costs $10). Participating wineries will also be open all day Sunday for free cellar tours. Visit for more information.