White Zinfandel: The Commonly Unique Wine
White Zinfandel from California, USA is a type of rose wine invented by Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home Family during 1970s. With their unique taste and affordable prices, rose wines have gained a worldwide reputation among wine lovers around the globe. Wine lovers often give their regular drinking habits a pause for a shot of the rose wine. The wines are available with different names and flavors. This chapter explores the exciting history of this unique wine.
The Happy Experiment
In the late 1960s, Stutter homes original Zinfandel wine had earned a high reputation among the general public. The strong taste and smell had attracted wine lovers to the original Zinfandel; a larger number of the wine drinkers appreciated the intensity of the drink.
To satisfy their thirst, ‘Stutter homes’ started experimenting with their original drink. In the early 1970s, Bob Trinchero thought of intensifying the taste of the wine by reducing the grape to-liquid ratio in the original drink. He planned to extract a fair share of the original liquid once the fermentation process had started. The idea was to ensure that the remaining liquid would have a sharp red color and an intense taste.
White Zinfandel wine: The New Taste
According to reports about the origin of White Zinfandel, the extracted liquid was as large as 500 gallons during the initial production. The wine maker decided to sell the newly created drink for a price. Stutter pressed the liquid with grapes for some time; thus, it had developed a sweet taste and a serene smell.
To introduce it into the market and attract wine drinkers, they kept the price below the usual price as it was not a preferred wine flavor at that time. The sweetness of the wine was its standout trait among the wines available in the market, and its low price was a good reason to attract customers in larger numbers. The wine had similar characteristics to rose wines available in the market, but selling it under the same name would put an end to its uniqueness.
Hence, the wine makers decided to market it as a new flavor for their Zinfandels. Based on its color, the wine was named ‘White Zinfandel.’ As the team expected, people were attracted to the new flavor at a low price, and the sales were several times higher than usual Zinfandels.
Problems Start Piling Up
Just after its inception, Zinfandels started losing its market share, and one of the primary reasons was rising market competition. The newfound American flavor was in-demand, and several wine makers began producing dry rose wine from Zinfandel grapes. The dry rose wine tasted similar to the original ones, and Stutter home started losing its market share.
Another setback to the White Zinfandel came due to its close resemblance to the already established rose wine. The initial white Zinfandel was cheap, but it did not have the crispness of a usual rose wine. As a result, the regular White Zinfandel drinkers started to look for better alternatives with a stronger impact.
Additionally, during the 1970-80s, French wines were introduced into the American market. Their taste and appearance depicted their elegance, and white Zinfandel’s drinkers started switching to them.
Provence Rose- The Oldest Rose Wine
Provence rosé wine was an alternative to White Zinfandel at that time. Provence rosé wine was produced like usual white Zinfandel, but the juice was extracted from the red grapes. The wine producers had mastered timing precision and expertise to extract pale juice from the red grapes. Similar to the origin of white Zinfandel, Provence rosé wine was also an attempt to intensify the taste of red wine; nevertheless, the process was not new for rose wine producers. Historical records suggest that Greeks started wine production 2600 years ago in Provence with rose wine.
- Zinfandel Grapes, California’s Gold Rush, and the US Wine Industry
- A History of Food and Wine in Provence
However, in the past, the technique to produce Provence rose wine was different than how it is extracted today. As the rose wine requires less time with grapes, it was easier to produce without the fermentation complexities. The process was revolutionized after the second world war, and then in 1976, the modern method eventually became a common practice in rose wine production. The extracted juice was pink in color and sweet in taste and was later sold as rose wine. The taste of the Provence rosé wine had a crisp smell that outscored white Zinfandel, and it received worldwide recognition.
The White Zinfandel Market Today
The aforementioned setbacks severely affected the once-popular rose wine culture dominated by White Zinfandel in the European and American markets. Despite the intense competition in rose wine, Sutter home’s White Zinfandel still holds a reasonably strong position in the American rose wine market.
In 2018, it occupied 28.1% of the rose wine market; the proportion rose to more than 71% for selected bottle types of the same flavor. The wine world is constantly changing; the demand for wine makes it possible for producers to experiment with new taste that may or may not be praised by the public. Nevertheless, these attempts to find a good blend would eventually bring us closer and closer to the heavenly beverage.
See more resources here