Definition: The Zinfandel grape has been a cornerstone of the California viticulture scene since the mid-1800s. Originally thought to be a native grape from Italy, research carried out in the last 10 to 12 years has revealed that Zinfandel's original roots were firmly planted in Croatia. Regardless of its Old World beginnings, it is a dynamic red grape that has made itself quite at home in the New World. This versatile varietal is known and loved undercover as "White Zin" by some and "Zinfandel" by red wine enthusiasts. Old vine Zins, made from vines that are typically 50+ years, are coveted for their intensity - in flavor, color and balanced overall style.
White Zinfandel wine is made from the red Zinfandel grape, but the grape skins are quickly removed after they are crushed so there is significantly less contact time with the heavily pigmented red grape skin, resulting in a pink/rose colored wine, instead of a deep red wine.
Zinfandel, meaning the red wine, is known for its rich, dark color scheme, medium to high tannin levels and a higher alcohol content. The Zinfandel feature flavors include: raspberry, blackberry, cherry, plums, raisins, spice and blackpepper all wrapped around various intensities of oak.
White Zinfandel pairs well with a massive variety of foods, ranging from Cajun fare to Asian fare, from BBQ chicken to heavy-duty seafood entrees.
Zinfandel pairs well with plenty of meat: lamb, poultry, beef, game and some fish, under a variety of cooking styles (grilled, stewed, braised) and continues to showcase it's versatility with tried and true pairing favorites like fish tacos, spicy fare or simply brats and burgers.
Key Domestic Producers
7 Deadly Zins
Layer Cake Primitivo
Dry Creek Vineyards
White Zinfandel Producers: Sutter Home, Beringer
Also Known As: "Zin" and Primitivo (South Italy)