Meet the Roses | Beringer White Zinfandel


Beringer White Zinfandel bottle and poured glass
Many, many years ago I was at some local event with my then-boyfriend (seriously, no clue why we were there; concert? party?) and they had a cash bar.* This was before I discovered my love of red wines and well before Pinot Noir was as plentiful as it is, today, so I asked if they had white wine. They did. And they proceded to pour me half a cocktail cup (one of those 10-oz plastic ones) of something pink.

“But I said white wine.”

“Yeah, it’s White Zinfandel.”

Not wanting to pick a fight with the large man in the t-shirt across the bar, I thought “whatever” and drank it.

And I was not a fan.

I’ve yet to try one that has impressed me and avoid them in general. Red Zinfandel I have no problem with, but White? Not so much.

The disclaimer of the above notwithstanding, I really hoped this bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel would change my mind. Or, at the very least, temper my opinion of what I’ve heretofore considered the kool-aid of the wine world (you know how red kool-aid doesn’t always have a particular fruit flavor, is sweet but also kinda thin? exactly how I see white zin).

Alas, my mind has not been changed.

I chilled it, as the bottle recommended. I was happy to see a cork instead of the ubiquitous screw-top. And I chose it for it’s recognizable name and really, really wanting to believe the “America’s Favorite” scripted on the label.

If that’s true, I weep for our collective palates.

The color is a rather vibrant peachy-pink, the nose suggested fruit (certainly not a bad thing) but it was a bit muddled. The flavor? Lackluster. It had a mushy mouth-feel with no discernible flavors other than sweetish. Smooth? Sure, to the point of boredom. It just sat there, it failed to excite.

The thing is, I like sweet wines. Moscato is music to my mouth! There’s a Blackberry wine made a few hours east of me that I would bathe in were it prudent or affordable to do so! I even like the fruity Arbor Mist blended wine beverages–some of them are very tasty and great for a summer party.

And, yet, white zinfandel leaves me unimpressed.

But I’m just one girl who likes wine and, while neither a connoisseur nor wine snob, tries to give each wine a fair shake. Many people love this wine (be it for reasons of price, availability, or maybe because it’s middle of the road and that’s what they’re after) and, well, more power to you ya, I guess. I just won’t be joining you in a glass of White Zinfandel any time soon.

Now to see if the remains of the bottle might make a decent sangria. It might be akin to making a silk purse from a sow’s ear, but I hate wasting a bottle of wine, even if it was only $6!


*Said even took place at the local VFW hall and their standard contract, I believe, is to handle the liquor sales for any given event held there, so the bartender being in a t-shirt and trucker hat–way before trucker hats came back into “fashion”–affords my memory no clues as to the nature of the event