What is White Zinfandel?

White Zinfandel is a type of rosé wine that is known for its refreshing and fruity taste.

bottle and glass of white zinfandel with flowers

It is made from the Zinfandel grape, which is typically used to produce a full-bodied and spicy red wine called Zinfandels. The white zinfandel is made by promptly removing the skins of the grape after crushing, which creates a lighter-hued, lighter-bodied wine with lighter tannins and low alcohol.

White Zinfandel is often abbreviated as White Zin and is an off-dry to sweet, pink-colored rosé wine. It is not a grape variety but a method of processing Zinfandel grapes. The wine is known for its sweet and fruity flavor and is a popular drink among wine enthusiasts. Zinfandel grapes are known for their uneven ripening, which requires the bunches to be left on the vine to ripen fully, leading to high sugar in the berries.

White Zinfandel is a popular wine that is enjoyed by many. It is a refreshing drink that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of foods. The wine is known for its fruity and sweet flavor, which makes it a popular choice among those who prefer sweeter wines.

History and Origin

White Zinfandel is a type of wine that is made from the Zinfandel grape. The wine is known for its pinkish color and its sweet taste. The history of White Zinfandel can be traced back to California in the 1970s.


Bob Trinchero, a winemaker at Sutter Home Winery, is credited with creating White Zinfandel in 1975. The wine was created by accident when a batch of Zinfandel grapes did not ferment completely, leaving behind a sweet, pinkish wine.

Trinchero decided to bottle the wine and sell it as a new type of wine. The wine quickly became popular and helped to establish Sutter Home Winery as a major player in the wine industry.

White Zinfandel was initially marketed as a low-cost alternative to traditional red wines. The wine quickly gained a reputation as a cheap, sweet wine that was popular with people who were new to wine drinking. However, over time, White Zinfandel began to gain a more mainstream following, and it is now enjoyed by wine drinkers of all levels.

Today, White Zinfandel is produced throughout the United States, but it remains most closely associated with California. The wine is still produced by Sutter Home Winery, as well as by many other wineries in California and other parts of the country. Despite its humble origins, White Zinfandel has become one of the most popular types of wine in the United States.

Making Process

White Zinfandel is a type of rosé wine made from the Zinfandel grape. The making process of White Zinfandel is quite different from that of red Zinfandel.


To make White Zinfandel, the winemaker starts with red Zinfandel grapes. The grapes are harvested and crushed, and the juice is separated from the skins. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tanks at a cool temperature to preserve the fruity flavors and aromas.

During the fermentation process, yeast consumes the grape sugars and converts them into alcohol. The longer the fermentation process, the higher the alcohol content of the wine. To control the alcohol level, the fermentation process is stopped before all the sugars are converted into alcohol. This leaves some residual sugar in the wine, giving it a sweet taste.

The color of White Zinfandel is also different from that of red Zinfandel. The skins of the grapes are responsible for the red color of red Zinfandel. In the making process of White Zinfandel, the grape juice has limited exposure to the skins, resulting in a pink color.

One method of making White Zinfandel is the saignée method, which involves bleeding off some of the juice from the red Zinfandel grapes after crushing and before fermentation. This concentrates the remaining juice and skins, making a more intense red wine. The bled-off juice is then fermented separately to make White Zinfandel.

The processing of Zinfandel grapes for White Zinfandel can vary depending on the winemaker’s preference. Some winemakers prefer to use grapes that are picked earlier to retain more acidity, while others prefer to use riper grapes for a fruitier flavor.

Characteristics of White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is a type of rosé wine that is known for its sweet taste and pink color.


It is made from the red Zinfandel grape, but the skins are removed before fermentation, which results in a lighter color and lower tannins. Here are some of the characteristics of White Zinfandel:

  • Sweetness: White Zinfandel is known for its sweetness. It is considered an off-dry to sweet wine, with a residual sugar level of around 2-4%. This sweetness makes it a popular choice for those who prefer sweeter wines.
  • Flavors: White Zinfandel has a range of flavors, including strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and cranberry. These fruity flavors are balanced by a tartness that gives the wine a refreshing taste.
  • Soft and Fruity: White Zinfandel has a soft and fruity taste that makes it easy to drink. It is a light-bodied wine that is perfect for sipping on a warm summer day.
  • Acidity: White Zinfandel has a low to medium acidity, which helps to balance out the sweetness of the wine. This acidity gives the wine a bright, refreshing taste.
  • Pink Color: White Zinfandel has a bright pink color that is similar to that of a light red wine. This color comes from the short contact time that the juice has with the grape skins.

Aging and Storing

White Zinfandel is a wine that is meant to be consumed young. It is not a wine that is typically aged for long periods of time. In fact, most white Zinfandels are meant to be consumed within a few years of their vintage date.


If you do decide to age your white Zinfandel, it’s important to store it properly. The ideal temperature for storing white Zinfandel is between 45°F and 55°F. A wine cellar is the perfect place to store white Zinfandel as it provides a cool, dark environment that is free from temperature fluctuations and direct sunlight.

When storing white Zinfandel, it’s important to keep the bottles lying on their sides. This helps to keep the cork moist, which prevents it from drying out and allowing air to enter the bottle. If air enters the bottle, it can cause the wine to oxidize and spoil.

If you want to enjoy your white Zinfandel at its best, it’s important to serve it at the right temperature. White Zinfandel should be served chilled, but not too cold. A good rule of thumb is to chill the wine in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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