THE ADVENT CALENDAR OF ALCOHOL – 11th December (10%-11%): White Zinfandel

Its a red grape. But its a white wine (well pink – maybe even rose). WOW!

That is not what I am going to be talking about here. If you want tasting notes there are plenty of very accomplished websites that do just that. Instead I want to talk a little bit about the logic of wine snobbery. Especially how this relates to this particular wine. The Zinfandel name, the grape variety after all, is only really twenty years old. It is this lack of age, lack of history which makes people who think they know about wine turn their well couiffured nose up at it.

Its ubiquity and popularity, especially in the US where one in ten of all wine bottles opened are White Zinfandel, is also a problem. It is a very easy drinking wine, pinky and fresh. So the complexitites are not there but let us look at what we are going to be doing with this wine. Drinking it? Drinking with food? Taking it to a party and then pulling a beer out of the fridge instead? Let the snobs be snobby, they aren’t looking for drinkable wines anyway. They are looking for exciting mouth sensations. We are looking to get tipsy. And for that, the White Zinfandel at a handy 10.5% is as close as the wine world gets to a session lager. My mum likes it, my dad likes it – and on the wine front that is pretty unheard of.

Wine snobs would not be wine snobs if they liked White Zinfandel. It would be like Michael Jackson (Beer Hunter one) proping up the bar at a Pitcher And Piano extolling the beauties of Fosters. But just because something is popular does not mean it does not have any decent properties.