All About Zinfandels

Red Zinfandel

A Zinfandel wine comes from a special type of grape that has a very dark colored skin. Did you know that the Italian red wine “Primitivo” is made from the same grape as a Zinfandel? Many of the popular Zinfandel wines come from California, but now you can try new Zinfandel wines under the Primitivo name that are made in Italy which will have similar flavor profiles.

Zinfandel wine is often very bold and can have very rich flavors of fruit and berries. Some varieties can be quite sweet but others quite dry, depending on the region they are from. Most bottles will have a tasting profile written on the label which can help guide you to choose a Zinfandel that is to your liking. A Zinfandel makes an excellent alternative to the other classic red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. Because of it’s bold taste, it is best paired with strong flavored dishes including beef and aged cheeses.

White Zinfandel

While browsing wine from the United States at your local wine shop, you may have noticed a pink colored wine labelled as a “White Zinfandel.” Why would they call a pink wine a white wine if the color is like that of a Rosé? A White Zinfandel technically is a Rosé, but the method of creating this specific wine was invented by Sutter Home Family Vineyards. A Rosé is a pink color because the grape skins are left in the wine as it is being made for only a short time, thus turning the wine pink. If the skins were removed quickly, you would end up with a white wine. Similarly, leaving the skins in would result in a red wine.

As for the taste of a White Zinfandel, this wine is quite sweet and many people enjoy it who do not enjoy dry wines. This wine makes an excellent mix when creating wine cocktails or enjoyed with cheeses that normally pair well with jams. A regular Zinfandel is typically very bold and strong, but the White Zinfandel is more subtle and refreshing.Both the traditional Zinfandel and White Zinfandel can be the perfect wine choice and be fully enjoyed, but it is important to remember their flavor profiles so you can complement your event and food choices. As a rule of thumb, red wines pair best with dinner or a rich dessert like chocolate cake. Because White Zinfandel is very sweet and would not go well with a savory meal, it could instead be served along fresh fruits or delicate cheeses.