White Zinfandel: Learn Your WIne

By Betchy Crocker

It’s time to explore what is probably the most trashy and hated wine, White Zinfandel.  Please tell me how I’m wrong in the comments, and also how many credits you’re taking for your freshman year at college.


White Zinfandel is hated because it’s kind of considered a beginner’s wine. It has a relatively low alcohol content (booo), low calories (yayyy), and is super sweet (meh), making it pretty friendly to someone who has never had wine before. It’s often made from the bled-off juice of red Zinfandel. It’s made to be consumed pretty much immediately (no aging here) and, thus, snubbed by wine snobs everywhere.

Types and tastes:

Obviously, it’s really fucking sweet. The sugar content can make it taste almost like fruit punch, although there are varieties that offer a bit more acidity and crispness. These are not the varieties you will find at the bottom of a bag of Franzia – FYI.  Some wineries are trying to make the hated, super-sweet wine into something more interesting – taking it to a more dry, crisp Rosé level. Fruit flavors will include blackcurrant, cherry, occasional strawberry, blackberry, plum, and even raisins (gag).

  • Light-bodied White Zins are the most popular and have the most fruit flavor (mostly berries).
  • Medium-bodied White Zins are a bit spicier than the light-bodied, although they still have super prevalent fruit flavors. These are probs best with meat dishes.
  • Full-bodied White Zins are probably heading into the Red Zinfandel category (yes, that’s a thing). These are full of raspberry, blackberry, and spice tastes.

Drink with:

Because of the sweetness, White Zin actually makes a pretty good accompaniment to more spiced and savory dishes.

  • Heavily spiced curries and Asian food (honestly wtf doesn’t go with Asian food at this point)
  • Intense meats (LOL) like lamb and venison but also red meat like steak and burgers
  • Light cheeses and aperitifs obviously would be fine with the light and non-serious White Zin




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