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White Zinfandel Taste Profile You Will Love – The Ultimate Guide

Zinfandel_Primitivo
White Zinfandel is the Rosé style of Zinfandel/Primitivo grape. It's known for its light body, red fruit aromas and unlike other Rosé, it’s moderate to sweet. Let's find out more!

Zinfandel is a black grape that has gained popularity in both California and Italy. Its flavor ranges from red fruits to black fruit depending on its ripening. It grows best in warm climates.

White Zinfandel is the Rosé version. It has a light body, red fruit aromas and unlike other Rosé, it’s moderate to sweet.

Have you ever found yourself staring at many White Zinfandel bottles wondering which one you would like best? Keep reading and you’ll find the answer and much more! 

I’ve organized the content below in small sections to make it easy to read. I must confess I’m quite happy with the research and work done. As always wine tasting was my favorite part!😋  

Use the table of content below to jump straight to the section. In this article you’ll learn more about: 

Keep reading to become a White Zinfandel expert!

White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel Overview

Grape

Zinfandel

ABV

8%–10%

Main Regions

USA: California (Napa, Sonoma)

Other Regions

-

Grape

Zinfandel

ABV

8%–10%

Main Regions

USA: California (Napa, Sonoma)

Other Regions

-

White Zinfandel Taste Profile

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of White Zinfandel.

Color

Pink

Nose

Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry,
Citrus Note

Palate

Red Fruit
Citrus Fruit
Baking Spice, Graphite
Medium to Sweet
Medium-Low Acidity
Medium-Low Tannins
Light Body

Color

Pink

Nose

Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry,
Citrus Note

Palate

Red Fruit
Citrus Fruit
Baking Spice, Graphite
Medium to Sweet
Medium-Low Acidity
Medium-Low Tannins
Light Body

White Zinfandel Food Pairing

These are some food pairing suggestions for White Zinfandel.

Appetitizer

Sliced Salami/Pancetta,
Salads,
Fresh or Roasted Vegetables

Meat

Spicy Chicken,
Pork,
Indian cuisine

Fish

Crab cakes

Cheese

Soft (Philadelphia),
Hard (Grana Padano),
Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola)

Appetitizer

Sliced Salami/Pancetta,
Salads,
Fresh or Roasted Vegetables

Meat

Spicy Chicken,
Pork,
Indian cuisine

Fish

Crab cakes

Cheese

Soft (Philadelphia),
Hard (Grana Padano),
Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola)

Serve and Store White Zinfandel

Decant

Nope

Glass

Chardonnay / Viognier

Serve at

45 - 50 °F
7 - 10 °C

Store for

Up to 2 years

Decant

Nope

Glass

Chardonnay / Viognier

Serve at

45 - 50 °F
7 - 10 °C

Store for

Up to 2 years

Useful Insight

Regions and winemaking techniques influence White Zinfandel taste profiles. A rule of thumb is:

  • Cool Climates: red fruit notes like raspberry and strawberry are predominant.

  • Warm Climates: black fruit notes like blackberry, cherry, anise are predominant.

A little bit of Zinfandel/Primitivo history

Zinfandel’s history is quite interesting and deserves to be told! 

Zinfandel grapes originated in Croatia around 6000 BCE and DNA wise are identical to Primitivo in Italy and Crljenak Kaštelanski and Tribidrag grapes in Croatia. 

In the 18th century, it was introduced in Puglia in Italy. It then arrived in the US in the 1820s and by the 19th century, it became the most popular variety in California. Up until the 1950s, Zinfandel was nearly forgotten following the Great Depression [1] and the Prohibition [2]. Finally, at the end of the 20th century red Zinfandel rose to popularity once again and today is widely planted in California.

Where does Zinfandel/Primitivo grow best?

Zinfandel/Primitivo grows best in warm and sunny regions. The grape ripening has a direct effect on the taste profile of the wine.

  • Under-Ripe / Cool Climates: red fruit (raspberry, red berry) flavors.

  • Ripe / Warm Climates: black fruit (blackberry, blueberry), anise, and black pepper flavors.

When is the perfect event to drink White Zinfandel?

Are you hosting or going to an event with spicy food, like Indian cuisine? White Zinfandel is a great match!

Some curiosities about Zinfandel/Primitivo

  • There is an International Zinfandel day and it’s the 3rd Thursday in November. But Zinfandel has its own festival as well, the ZINEX [3].

  • White Zinfandel was actually created by accident. During the fermentation, the yeast died early and left a sugar residual. The good news was that customers loved it and since then it gained popularity.

  • This one is for the series: the swing of the pendulum! When in the 70s Zinfandel was popular in the US, Italian producers were selling Primitivo as Zinfandel in the US to benefit from its popularity. Primitivo is now rising in popularity and some Californian producers are now labeling their wines as Primitivo.

What’s White Zinfandel's typical price range?

White Zinfandel it’s an affordable wine! You’ll get a nice bottle for about $10-$15.

What to do next?

Be sure to serve your White Zinfandel at the right temperature. Read our wine tasting guide to enhance your tasting experience and taste like the pro! Alternatively, why don’t you check out our guides on Zinfandel/Primitvo, Syrah/Shiraz, or the other red wines?

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