White Zinfandel: The Commonly Unique Wine

White Zinfandel from California, USA, is a type of rose wine invented by Bob Trinchero of the Sutter Home Family during the 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 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 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.

The New Taste: White Zinfandel Wine

The extracted liquid used in the initial production of White Zinfandel, according to stories about its history, was as much as 500 gallons. The wine maker made the decision to charge for the newly produced beverage. After Stutter pressed the liquid with grapes for a while, it acquired a sweet flavor and a peaceful aroma.

As it wasn’t the most popular wine flavor at the time, they kept the price below the standard price to introduce it to the market and draw in wine drinkers. The wine’s distinctive quality among those on the market is its sweetness, and its affordable price was a factor in drawing more customers. The wine shared traits with other rose wines on the market, but its originality would be destroyed if it were sold under the same name.

Wine producers decided to market it as a fresh flavor for their Zinfandels as a result. The wine was given the name “White Zinfandel” based on its color. Sales of the new flavor were significantly higher than those of typical Zinfandels because, as the team had anticipated, people were drawn to it at a low cost.

Issues Start to Mount

Zinfandels began losing market share soon after it launched, and one of the main causes was growing competition. Due to the popularity of the newly discovered American flavor, several wine producers started making dry rose wine from Zinfandel grapes. Since the dry rose wine tasted so much like the originals, Stutter Home began to lose market share.

The White Zinfandel suffered another setback as a result of how much it resembled the well-known rose wine. Although the initial white Zinfandel was inexpensive, it lacked the typical crispness of a rose wine. The regular White Zinfandel drinkers consequently began to search for better substitutes that had a stronger effect.

French wines were also introduced to the American market in the 1970s and 1980s. White Zinfandel drinkers began switching to them as a result of how elegant they tasted and looked.

The Oldest Rose Wine Is Provence Rose

At that time, Provence rosé wine served as a substitute for White Zinfandel. Similar to how white Zinfandel is typically made, Provence rosé wine was made by pressing red grapes. Wine makers had mastered the art of extracting light juice from red grapes with timing precision and expertise. Similar to how white Zinfandel came to be, Provence rosé wine was an effort to enhance the flavor of red wine, though the technique was not new to rose wine makers. According to historical evidence, Greeks began making rose wine in Provence 2600 years ago.

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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.

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Want to read more? Try these books!

Zinfandel- A History of a Grape and Its Wine (Volume 10) (California Studies in Food and Culture) The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting- Combined Edition

Categories: WineTags: , , , , By Published On: October 27, 2022Last Updated: February 22, 2024

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