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Is White Zinfandel Sweet? Discover the Perfect White Zin for You

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You may be surprised to learn that White Zinfandel is a remarkably diverse varietal. This charming pink wine can range from sweet to dry, and it’s even become a trendy alternative to rosé for a champagne toast! Over the years, White Zinfandel has faced some criticism, but we believe it’s time for a fresh perspective.

What is White Zinfandel?

Before we dive into the taste, let’s clarify what White Zinfandel really is. It’s not a white wine; it’s a rosé. That’s right! The blush pink wines that grace everyone’s Instagram feeds and weekend brunches belong to the same family as White Zins.

White Zinfandel is made using Zinfandel grapes, which have deep blue-black skins that contribute fabulous fruity and floral flavors to the wines. The main difference between Red Zinfandel and White Zinfandel is the duration of skin contact during winemaking, affecting both color and flavor.

Why is White Zinfandel Sweet?

White Zinfandel became sweet by accident. In 1948, while trying to make their Red Zinfandel wine deeper and bolder, Sutter Home Winery ended up with excess liquid. Instead of discarding it, they decided to sell it as a rosé under the name “White Zinfandel.”

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The sweet taste of White Zinfandel primarily arises from a winemaking issue called Stuck Fermentation. This occurs when yeast organisms die before fully converting grape sugars to alcohol. While White Zinfandel is on the lower end of the alcohol scale, it still qualifies as a wine in its own right.

Is White Zinfandel a Dessert Wine?

While White Zinfandel may be considered a dessert wine in the UK, the US classifies dessert wines with an alcohol content above 14%. Typically, White Zinfandel falls below this threshold, making it less sweet and less strong. Additionally, White Zinfandel pairs well with a wide range of savory, spicy, acidic, and creamy foods.

Why is White Zinfandel Dry Again?

Thanks to the popularity of rosé wines, White Zinfandel has undergone a transformation. Winemakers in Napa and Sonoma County have reimagined the taste and image of White Zinfandel to appeal to modern rosé and white wine enthusiasts. The result is a new White Zin that is zesty, sassy, and far from its syrupy predecessors.

How to Find Your Perfect White Zin

With such a wide range of sweetness, finding the perfect White Zinfandel for your palate can be a challenge. If you prefer a sweeter White Zin, look for low acidity levels as acidity can counterbalance sweetness. Remember, your sense of smell also influences your perception of sweetness.

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To determine the sweetness level, check the residual sugar content. The higher the number, the sweeter the wine. For a dry white Zinfandel recommendation, try our 2019 “Not Your Mother’s” Dry White Zinfandel. It offers floral notes, delicate fruit undertones, and crisp acids that pair well with heavier, creamier, or spicy foods.

Whether you prefer sweet or dry, there is a White Zinfandel for everyone. This versatile rosé wine pleases both white and red wine drinkers and complements any meal throughout the year. So grab a glass and toast to the modern White Zinfandel, which has truly come into its own.

For more information on White Zinfandel and other wines, visit Ratingperson.

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