It seems that we have a small “underground wine revolution” on our hands, ladies and gentlemen! A handful of wineries in California have taken up the challenge to take White Zinfandel out of the depths of wine-obscurity, and restore it to its former glory…actually…it never had glory in the first place…but I think you catch my drift…
Montevina in California’s Amador County is one of the wineries who has picked up the “pink gauntlet.” Winemaker Chris Leamy even makes the point of walking into his tasting room on a regular basis (when its full of visitors) and pouring himself a glass of his own white Zin.
“When they hear it’s the winemaker and it’s white Zin, you can track our sales going up. I think there’s still intense snobbery about rose. Americans as a whole are embarrassed to have something pink in their glass. It’s a shame.” says Leamy.
“We felt there was no reason why white Zinfandel couldn’t be a serious wine,” Christina Turley told the San Francisco Chronicle, who last month reported on Turley’s efforts to make white Zin respectable. “Plus, we all love the idea of something with a good heart and a bad reputation.”
In answer to the question: “Can White Zinfandel Ever Be ‘Cool’ Again?” I would have to answer with a resounding: “…maybe!”
I don’t want to come off as being arrogant and snobby about White Zin, as I (more than anyone, it seems) realize when it comes to wine, that there’s a place for EVERYTHING! The main problem I see is that the image of White Zin is already too far gone.
For quite some time (as is quoted in plenty of my articles) I’ve wanted more wineries to give white Zin a fair-shot (mainly fueled by the fact I always like to root for the underdog). The problem I see is this: Think about how long it took for people to start accepting screw-caps on wine…and there are still a great number of consumers who treat with disdain any bottle with a “twisty-top.” White Zinfandel has an even worse reputation to fight against!
If there’s anyone who can turn-around the image of white Zin , it’s a wineries like Turley or Montevina, but I don’t see any major changes on the horizon…at least in my lifetime. I’d sincerely love to be proven wrong, though!