Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel: What Are The 8 Important Differences To Know?

Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel
This is our comparison of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel wine. Do you know what are the 8 important differences? Let's find out!

This is our comparison of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel wine. We’ve extensively researched these two popular wines to help you pick the best for you.

Zinfandel is a black grape that comes typically in two red styles: Zinfandel in California and Primitivo in Italy, and a rosé style called White Zinfandel.

Both wines are produced using the same grapes, i.e. Zinfandel, but the end result is quite different.

Zinfandel’s flavors ranges from red fruits to black fruit depending on its ripening. It has full-body, high alcohol, with medium-high acidity and tannins.

White Zinfandel has a light body, red fruit aromas and unlike other Rosé, it’s not dry, it’s actually moderate to sweet.

Find below our wine guide on the most important differences between these two great wines.

Our recommendation for Best Value Zinfandel is The Prisoner Saldo Zinfandel and for Best Overall is Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel Napa Valley.

Our best value bottle selection for you is Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel 2018.
 

If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Broc Cellars White Zinfandel.

You’ll find below our recommendation for you.

Let’s begin with the review!

Wine Selection Overview

Find below our Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel wine selection for you where you’ll find our recommendation for you.

Zinfandel Selection

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Zinfandel 2019
4.1/5

It’s a very nice Zinfandel and offers a great value for money.

It’s round, deep with medium body and tannins and a long finish. Red and black fruits notes along with leather, vanilla, and oak.

The Prisoner Saldo Zinfandel
4.2/5

This ruby red Zinfandel blend represents the very best lots of grapes from vineyards all across Northern California.

Bold in its dark berry aroma and laced with hints of cardamom and fall spices, its finish has persistent notes of chocolate and rich coffee bean.

Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel Napa Valley
4.4/5

Rich, vibrant, and juicy, this wine boasts aromas of cherry and wild berry, with soft notes of black pepper.

Tightly packed layers of cranberries, wild berries, and ripe cherries flow together with a touch of allspice for a rich, full flavor.

Moderate tannins show in the rich, mouth filling finish.

White Zinfandel Selection

Barefoot White Zinfandel N.V.
3.6/5

Expect flavors of Georgia peach, sun-ripened strawberries, succulent pears and pineapple.

Since it’s sweet, have it stone cold and it’ll be perfect for a hot summer day.

Woodbridge White Zinfandel 2018
3.7/5

Delicate raspberry and strawberry fruit character. Jasmine tea and orange zest perfume the aromas and lightly sweet flavors.

With hints of citrus and juicy red fruit from a proprietary blend of grape varieties.

The wine’s fruity aromas and flavors come alive through watermelon and floral notes.

4.2/5

This delicious white zin is probably one of the best you’ll find around at this price point. 

This is probably why it’s very popular in the Vivino community.

Expect strawberry, watermelon, grapefruit, tropical fruit, hint of oak and elderflower.

Comparison

Let’s now take a closer look at the difference between Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel so that you’ll have enough details to make an informed decision.

Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel: Where are they produced?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs Zinfandel from regions and wine styles points of view.

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.

Regions and winemaking techniques influence Zinfandel taste profiles. Here is a quick overview of the main regions and what to expect:

  • USA (California) Zinfandel flavors: Black fruit (Black cherry, blackberry) black pepper, vanilla.
  • Italy (Puglia) Primitivo flavors: Black fruit (Black cherry, blue raspberry, plum), red fruit, cinnamon, black pepper, licorice.

Find more about Zinfandel here.

White Zinfandel is primarily produced in the USA and specifically in California’s Central Valley. 

Find more about White Zinfandel here.

Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel: Which grapes are used to produce them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel from a grape point of view.

Both wines are produced using the same grapes, i.e. Zinfandel, but the end result is quite different as you’ll see in the below.

Zinfandel is a red-wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera.

Zinfandel vs white Zinfandel: What's their alcohol content?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel from an alcohol content point of view.

Alcohol content or more precisely Alcohol By Volume, i.e. ABV, measures the alcoholic strength of a drink.

There is a direct relationship between the sugar left in the wine after the alcoholic fermentation has taken place, i.e. Residual Sugar or RS, and ABV.

During the alcoholic fermentation, the yeast transforms the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol. 

Grapes with high residual sugar will therefore produce dry wine with a high ABV.

Zinfandel’s ABV is usually between 13% to 17%, whereas White Zinfandel’s ABV ranges between 8% to 10% depending on the style. 

Zinfandel vs white Zinfandel: What's their taste profile?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel from a taste profile point of view.

Zinfandel is a dry wine with deep garnet color.

Zinfandel flavor ranges from red fruits when unripe to black fruit when ripe. Other typical notes are star anise, black pepper and peach yogourt.

It has full-body, high alcohol, with medium-high acidity and tannins. 

White Zinfandel is a medium to sweet wine with a typical pink color.

Expect typical red fruit notes like cherry, strawberry, raspberry, citrus, baking spice and graphite as well.

It has usually medium-low acidity, tannins, and a light body. 

Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel: Are they sweet or dry?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel in terms of sweetness level or residual sugar.

The sweetness level of a wine is expressed in grams of sugar per liter, aka g/L, or as a percentage.

10 g/L equals 1% which, if you are interested, represents 6 calories per 5 oz serving. 

You will usually Zinfandel as a dry wine, whereas White Zinfandel from medium to sweet.

  • A dry wine contains less than 15 g/L.
  • A medium wine contains between 30-50 g/L.
  • A sweet wine contains between 50-100 g/L.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel: Which are the right food pairings?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel from a food pairings point of view.

Zinfandel is a versatile wine and pairs very well with many dishes. 

Zinfandel/Primitivo likes bold flavors and pairs well with pizza rustica, spice curry, and caramelized onions for example.

Meat wise I’d recommend you try it with quail, turkey, pork, BBQ, veal, and Tandoori-spiced food to name some.

You’ll find that some will have it with blackened salmon and spicy tuna tartare.

Given its boldness, you need to pick cheese with strong flavors like Gorgonzola, Grana Padano and Cheddar for example.

White Zinfandel pairs well with sliced salami/pancetta, fresh or roasted vegetables and salads for examples. 

Given it’s sweetness, it pairs well with spicy foods like spicy chicken and Indian cuisine as well as with crab cakes to name some. 

Cheese-wise White Zinfandel pairs well with Philadelphia, Grana Padano, Cheddar, and Gorgonzola for example.

Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel: How should you serve and store them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel in terms of serving and storing the wine.

Zinfandel should be decanted for 30 minutes and served at 59 – 64 °F (15 – 18 °C) in a Bordeaux glass.[1]

The recommended storing period is up to 5 years.

White Zinfandel shouldn’t be decanted. Serve cold at 45 – 50 °F (7 – 10 °C) in a Viognier or Chardonnay glass. 

The recommended storing period is up to 2 years.

Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel: How much do they cost?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel from a price comparison point of view.

They are both affordable wines

You’ll find good quality Zinfandel/Primitivo wines for around:

  • $12-$20 price range for the Italian’s style.
  • $15-$30 range price for the Californian’s style.

White Zinfandel it’s even cheaper. You’ll get a nice bottle for about $10-$15.

Our Verdict

If you have been through the guide, by now you are a Zinfandel vs White Zinfandel expert!

Both Zinfandel/Primitivo and White Zinfandel are great wines and by now you should have a good idea of what to expect from them.   

Our recommendation is therefore based on what you’d fancy the most at a particular given moment or event. 

Zinfandel is generally a common choice for BBQ and bold flavor dishes as seen above.

Our recommendation for Best Value Zinfandel is The Prisoner Saldo Zinfandel and for Best Overall is Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel Napa Valley.

You cannot resist the sweetness of a White Zinfandel, can you?

Our best value bottle selection for you is Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel 2018.
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Broc Cellars White Zinfandel.
 
As always make sure to serve them at the right temperature to enjoy them at their best.

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Wine is our passion and our mission is to make the world of wine more accessible to you and by doing so enhancing your experience.

We try our best to find high quality wines that offer great value for money so that they have a light weight on your wallet as well!🤩

Finally, all the content we publish on this site has been written or overseen by wine certificate holders, which ensures a high quality content.

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