With OZV, Can You Teach Consumers The ABCs of Lodi Zin?

It’s never a waste of time to educate consumers on what they’re drinking. Zinfandel is as misunderstood sometimes as the Lodi Region of California. If OZV is the ABC of Lodi Zinfandel, then these three letters which represent Old Zinfandel Vine, are pretty much the starting and ending point, for all things Zin produced in the Lodi region. The pioneering brand comes from a fifth-generation family grape-growers under the Oak Ridge umbrella.

If you’re interested in upselling your customers on Zin, this is the wine to talk to your distributor about. It will teach your customers what a Zin should be, and serves not only as a frankly underpriced mouthwatering wine, but also and more importantly, as a solid point of reference to which all Zins should aspire.

OZV’s RRP off-premise usually sits at around $14.00. Although its story is steeped in tradition and, well, old vines, it’s actually most popular for the cult following it has garnered as an cutting-edge name in Zin. Its label pretty much reflects its attitude: slightly edgy, contemporary, unique and a bit of a challenge to replicate.

Those three letters are apparently nonchalantly swept onto the label as if a calligrapher who happened to pass by decided to swiftly pen the logo. And as we know, all things that look like they happened auspiciously naturally are carefully curated to do exactly that.

Here are five things this avant-garde, extrovert brand can teach you about Zin.

1. The 21/14 Rule:
On-Premise locations have to remember to check for ID to ensure drinking customers are 21 or older. Customers need to check that their Zin around 14% alcohol or slightly over. There’s a good reason for this: a lower volume Zin translates into a softer, more approachable and easier-to-drink wine. Who wants their senses attacked by a glass of Zin? Nobody, so keep the alcohol volume at, or slightly above, 14%.

2. The Only Source of Knowledge is Experience:

Sounds like some adage my Irish mother tells me when I phone her in Dublin every Sunday, but like her, there is wisdom in it. When creating an unconventional approach to winemaking….guess what? It helps that the wine is made under the umbrella of Rudy Maggio, who has over five generations of family vineyard heritage in his name. Created by winemaker, Noel Basso, OZV is a very unique label doing its own thing, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed that it bolted from the prestigious Oak Ridge Winery stable.

3. It’s Got A Kick-Ass Label:

We don’t know who Banksy-ed this recently overhauled label but we approve. This looks good on your bar, shelf, or on a dining table. It has that perfect balance of peculiar uniqueness, that’s not trying too hard, but is still bound to be the most striking bottle on the shelf. Someone expressed attitude all of this bottle and we kinda like it.

4. Room To Grow:

There’s a lot of room to move within the OZV portfolio.

  • While in Croatia last year I learned that Zinfandel and Primitivo are, while incredibly similar, only siblings. They stem from a Croatian grape called Crljenak. OZV’s Rosé is, indeed, a Primitivo and has all that wonderful rose petal, strawberry, cranberry, pink grapefruit notes we love to find in rosés. And for only RRP $15 you can trade your customer up the Zin-Primitivo ladder without them feeling any pinch in the pocket. Make a quick order here.

  • The 2016 OZV Red Blend Zin is this writer’s favorite for value. This thoroughly over-delivers on every level. Delicious jammy berries culminate in a perfectly controlled and balanced wine. It’s just crazy to me that this bottle had a recommended retail price of only $15, but that’s the point of OZV…it will teach your customer what they need to know about Lodi Zins without punishing their bank balance.

  • Help your customers celebrate their graduation in Zin with OZV’s 2017 Zinfandel 3 Litre bottle made exclusively from grapes up-to 50 years old. This is a “robust” wine, and not for the faint-hearted. But its magical winemaker, Noel Basso contains this wild-child and ties it up with a soft tannins and puts a round-mouthfeel bow on top so you can taste the OZV exuberant soul in a polished bottle of jammy berries and expert winemaking. Upsell with this oversized bottle.

5. All Access:

OZV is readily available around the country, so ask your distributor to hook you up. None of that stuffy allocation nonsense here. That’s not OZV’s style. Stores already signed up  include Total Wine, BevMo, Costco, Safeway and Trader Joe’s.

Tasting Your Customer On OZV Wines:

  • Color: Lodi Zins are lighter in color than Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but can be darker than Pinot Noir or around the same opacity.
  • Taste: The high percentage in Alcohol Beverage Volume of Zinfandels can make them overly bold. That’s why we recommend OZV which stays around, or slightly above 14%, so the multiple layers of flavor can come through without fighting each other for your customer’s attention.
  • Ask your customer to take time to notice berry, vanilla, and caramel in OZV’s 2016 Zinfandel  and 2016 OZV Red Blend Zin.
  • Your customer will enjoy the amazing jammy berries that won’t overwhelm their palate while treating themselves to the OZV’s 2017 Zinfandel 3 Litre.

Natasha Swords

Natasha Swords is an accomplished editor and writer with 20+ years of creative composition, reporting and management. She hails from Dublin Ireland where she held the position of Editor at Jemma Publications. Natasha honed her editorial skills by delivering engaging content on a wide range of topics, before finally focusing on the alcohol beverage and cannabis industries. She is Editor-in-Chief at Bonfort’s Wine and Spirits Journal as well as Drink me Magazine, where she leads all editorial content from story-idea generation to commissioning freelance writers and photographers. She also heads up CannEpoch, a lifestyle publication for the newly cannabis curious. In 2018, Natasha launched Bonfort’s Wine and Spirits Journal from inception, as well as the Bonfort’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a top-tier industry event connecting leading brands with key buyers. Steeped in the alcohol industry media, she was previously editor of Off-License Magazine, California Beverage News and Patterson’s California Beverage Journal (now Tasting Panel Magazine), and ran corporate communications for a number of alcohol supplier companies including TGIC (now Guarachi Wine Partners) and distributor, TITAN Wine and Spirits.