What’s The Difference Between White Zinfandel And Rosé

There’s a good chance of you knowing someone who loves Rosé but dislikes White Zinfandel. White Zinfandel is being marketed for years now, but the taste might have failed to impress some wine lovers. For those of you who are not aware, White Zinfandel is a sweeter version of Rosé.

If you say that you hate White Zinfandel and love Rosé, it’s like saying you like bagels but hate bread. Both of these varieties are just some word spinning. The question is, they’re both pink in color, and both are wines – so what’s the difference? Let’s not keep you waiting and get to the point.

What Is Rosé?

 It is unknown by many people that one of the earliest wines was Rosé. The Rosé is made by combining the red and white grapes and watering this blend. The ancient Greeks found it highly civilized to dilute the wine. Most people think that Rosé is produced using a combination of white and red wine.

Before anything else, you should know that Rosé is not a type of grape – it’s a category of wines like whites and reds. How does the Rosé get its pink color? This is due to the reduction in skin contact that results in the signature pink color.

Though that method still exists, the winemakers still frown upon that idea. Typically, Rosés come from all parts of the world. You can find them from Europe to California. Provence is a region in France that is believed to be the most stable source of Rosé. The Rosé constitutes more than half of Provence wine production. 

What Is White Zinfandel?  

The White Zinfandel was developed by accident, but its demand has been quite strong. It is also popularly known as ‘White Zin,’ this drink is usually dry to sweet. The White Zinfandel has a slightly sweet flavor that comes from the red Zinfandel grapes. The rosy-pink color comes from the grapes after they are crushed and removed from the juice.

The most popular is the Barefoot White Zinfandel. Your summers will be more memorable with a sip of White Zinfandel. The story of Zinfandels dates back to the 1970s. It was created by Bob Trinchero, who admired French Rosé. It was initially known as Oeil de Perdrix. It is a descriptive term for the white wine category that is produced using French red grapes.

By mid-1980, names like Beringer White Zinfandel quickly rose to become America’s favorite drink. The White Zinfandel is also the first sips of wine for many people. In today’s date, every one in five wine drinkers in the U.S drinks White Zinfandel. The White Zinfandel is considered a versatile wine because it can be paired up with many other elements. 


White Zinfandel and Rosé wine have similar preparation methods, but they taste quite different. In the Rosé wine, only the grapes’ skin is allowed to sit and blend with the juice for very little time. This is what gives the Rosé their signature pink color. The juice is allowed to ferment in large steel tanks, and there you have your delicious dry Rosé.

The thing is, varieties like Barefoot White Zinfandel are prepared the same way as the Rosé. The White Zinfandel was born in the 1970s in California. It was at Sutter Home where Bob Trinchero was trying to create more intense and deep flavors. The team at Sutter Home decided to skim off more than 500 gallons of juice that had been soaking for a little while.

That’s not it. The White Zinfandel underwent another phenomenon known as ‘stuck fermentation.’ This resulted in a more boozy wine, but with a bit of sugar residue. The wine was a massive hit owing to the taste and low price tag. Here you see the preparation method was mostly the same, but it results in a significant difference in taste.

White Zinfandel V/s. Rosé

A few people claim that White Zinfandels like Barefoot White Zinfandel and Beringer White Zinfandel are not Rosé but a blush wine. The White Zinfandel is sweeter and pinkier in color as compared to the Rosé. The Rosé wines are generally on the drier side. The Rosé has a range of colors from candy red apple to onion skin to deep-salmon.

If you ever take a sip of Barefoot White Zinfandel, you should expect flavors like melon, fresh strawberry, and sweet peach. The flavor patterns are rounded with subtle hints of clove and nutmeg. Dry Rosés that come from France are usually lighter in color.

Winemaking is a much more complex craft than you can think of. Rosé is produced by letting skins of red grape ferment with wine for a short period. Unlike the Rosé, the red wines ferment for several weeks. Since the Rosé has much lesser contact time with red grape skin, the color is lighter.

Rosés can be produced using any variety of red grapes. On the other hand, the White Zin is only made using Zinfandel Grapes. Talking about the flavor, the White Zinfandel is generally pinkier, a tad sweeter, and less complicated than the Rosé. The Rosé can be both dry and sweet.

Also, the Rosé is considered to be of much superior quality. Technically speaking, you cannot differentiate White Zinfandel from Rosé. Non-alcohol drinkers generally consume the Zinfandel. A lot of people prefer Rosé because it has less sugar residue than White Zin. A bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel will cost you less than a bottle of quality Rosé.

The Bottom Line

So the next occasion you think you love Rosé but hate Zinfandel or the opposite, remember that it is the style that you dislike. If you like Zinfandel, that means your calling is for sweeter wines. If you like Rosé, it means that you are more tilted towards dry wines.

Whether it’s Rosé or White Zinfandel, you are going to enjoy both. Now that you are aware of how Zinfandel is different from Rosé don’t forget to share it with your fellow wine lovers. 

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