1000 Stories: The Adventures of Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel

It’s now rather in vogue to age wine in bourbon barrels. A handful of wineries have incorporated it into their production due to the demand. While it’s become a trend, 1000 Stories has been aging their Zinfandels in new bourbon bottles long before “it was cool”.

Winemaker and storyteller, Bob Blue, has been working with bourbon barrels since 1980s mainly due to the lack of access to American and French barrels. Let’s keep it real, the bourbon barrels are  less expensive and who doesn’t like to save some coins. While 1000 Wines started off as an experiment, the winery discovered that they were on to something.

I was able to taste the wines during a paring dinner at Black Barn in New York City. Bob Blue was in the house to tell us a little more about his wines and take us through the pairing menu.


White Pizza

cheese fondue, mangalitsa spice coppa, caramelized onions,

Arugula, truffle oil

Kale and Roasted Squash Salad

radicchio, spicy pepitas, pomegranate, buttermilk dressing

Buttermilk Squash Ravioli

swiss chard, toasted pumpkin seeds

Main Course

Amish Chicken

ricotta gnocchi, watercress turnips, grapes, parmesan

Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb

braised shoulder, artichokes, chickpea cakes, harissa

Curried Cauliflower Steak

cilantro raita, toasted pine nuts, pickled raisins


Apple Cider Doughnuts

Chocolate Caramel Tart

Seasonal Sliced Fruit

 It was the second time I’d been to Black Barn. It’s a wonderful restauarant to showcase wine with food. They have a nice selection of hearty dishes. When paired with the right wine, the meal is priceless. The reds worked very well with all of the main course options. I really got into the Amish Chicken with the 2015 Zinfandel Batch No. 030.

What I enjoy about the wine experience with 1000 Stories is that the wines have a bespoke touch to them. They are bold reds labeled by batches. The aromas and characteristics of the wine can change according to which batch they are in. The only downside to that is, when a batch is gone..it’s gone.

Red wine drinkers would dig 1000 Stories, though bourbon fans would probably be into the wine as well. Does the bourbon barrel really make a difference in taste? Who knows…who cares, 1000 Stories is really good wine.


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