Clueless - Printable Version

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- daily - 08-30-1999 05:46 PM

What is the difference between Zinfandel and White Zinfandel?
Also, from the driest to the sweetest.....Carbernet Sauvignon, pinot Grigio, Piesporter, Chardonnay?

- Jerry D Mead - 08-31-1999 12:33 AM

Zinfandel is the name of a grape, a red grape...when the name is referred to simply as Zinfandel (or when the name is on a wine list) it refers to the red wine made from that red grape...which is usually dry.

White Zinfandel is kind of like Rose wine. It is usually pink or slightly orange in color. It is called White not because it is white in color, but because it is made in a white wine style...that is, only the juice is fermented without any contact with the red grape skins. Let me clarify...White Zinfandel is made from red Zinfandel grapes but without extracting any color (or flavor) from the skins. White Zinfandel almost always have from a little to a lot of sweetness.

Cabernet Sauvignon (red), Pinot Grigio (white) and Chardonnay (white) are usually (but not always dry...Piesporter is made from the Riesling grape which is very fruity tasting and can be anything from bone dry to very sweet.

If you're not quite clear on what the word "dry" is simply the absence of sweetness.

- Doug Holdsworth - 09-11-1999 09:12 AM

Daily, adding to the last reply made, fermenting red grape juice with the skins (Cabernet Sauv, Pinot Noir, etc.) is what gives red wine its medium and full bodied flavor, as well as its smooth thicker texture. Just thought I'd ad that.


- Jerry D Mead - 09-12-1999 12:25 AM

I'm nitpicking maybe, but I don't want Daily to be confused. What Doug says is correct...but when he said "red grape juice" it makes it sound as if the juice is red. To be technically correct it should be the "juice of red grapes"...because virtually all grapes have white juice. The color does come from the skins.

One red grape grown in California that does have red juice is Alicante Bouschet, which winemakers often use as a blender when they need added depth of color.