The varietal Zweigelt wines of this grape are quite common. However, they are also used frequently in blends. Combining it with Cabernet and Merlot creates an Austrian twist to the Bordeaux Blend. It is also often paired with Blaufrankisch, its parent-variety Blaufrankisch, to create a pure-blooded, if slightly incestuous, all-star Austrian blend. You can also buy Zweigelt unplugged wines via many online sources.
Zweigelt can also be used to make sweet wines. Zweigelt is used to make the most expensive wines in the world, either Storhwein from dried grapes or Ice Wine. These aren't just for Austrian vineyards. At least one high-end Zweigelt Ice Wine is made in Canada's Okanagan Valley.
Zweigelt was created by Dr. Friedrich "Fritz", who initially called it Rotburger. This caused confusion with a completely different variety (see Rotberger), which was created around the same period in Geisenheim. This duplication wasn't resolved until 1970, when Lenz Moser, an Austrian winemaker, renamed Dr. Zweigelt’s variety "Zweigelt".
Zweigelt is a truly successful cross. It has desirable traits from both its parents (see Saint-Laurent, Blaufränkisch). It gets its vibrant, Pinot-like cherry aromas from Saint-Laurent and the ability to make elegant, silky wines.
It has inherited a good amount of spiciness from Blaufrankisch. The Zweigelt grapes are a combination of both parents, who can produce wines with deep purple-crimson color. This is why the best Zweigelt wines have a dark and brooding appearance. This makes it tempting for winemakers to overcrop Zweigelt vines.