zinfandel

[zin-fuh n-del]

Origin of zinfandel

First recorded in 1895–1900; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for zinfandel

Zinfandel

noun
  1. a Californian wine grape originally transplanted from Europe and producing a quick-maturing fruity red wine

Word Origin for Zinfandel

C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for zinfandel
n.

1896, "red or white dry California wine," origin uncertain; used earlier as the name of the grape from which it was made (1880). The wine itself is said to have been known in U.S. since 1829. Some wine experts suggest a corruption of the Austrian grape name Zierfandler, though these grapes are not related to those of zinfandel. See this article:

The similarity in the names Zinfandel and Zierfandler arouses some speculation. Modern vine identification systems did not yet exist in 1829, so it is conceivable that the cuttings George Gibbs imported to the USA had never been correctly identified in Austria.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper