Sometimes a poker game will make you flush with cash, but it’s not often you walk away with a sexy new label.
Here’s the back story of Sin Zin …
Back in 1979 vintner Hank Wetzel was playing poker with friends in a small ranch house right next to the Alexander Valley winery. Among the card sharks were Lou Foppiano of Healdsburg’s Foppiano Vineyards, Rob Davis of Healdsburg’s Jordan Winery and Dennis Hill, then assistant winemaker of Alexander Valley Vineyards.
Hanks sister, Katie Wetzel Murphy, came in with a barrel sample of the latest zinfandel and the poker palates deemed the alcohol level was a bit high. Katie didn’t miss a beat and said that the racy alcohol would work if they labeled the zinfandel “Sin Zin.”
Within months the label was approved and then soon after the Redemption Zin bottling followed.
In 2004 the third bottling in the series – Temptation – was added, thanks to a lone cowboy from Texas. Hank was pouring wine at the Specs store on Smith St. in Houston in 2003 when he was approached by the cowboy who had an idea to make the line-up of Sin Zin and Redemption Zin more appealing. The cowboy said he’d love to drink a bottling of Temptation Zin on Friday night, Sin Zin on Saturday night and Redemption Zin on Sunday night.
Today the winery bottles 17,000 cases of Sin Zin ($20) a year, 10,000 cases of Temptation Zin ($12) and about 2,000 cases of Redemption Zin ($24).
The stats are not surprising. Sin and temptation have always been more popular than redemption.