Recommend a White Zinfandel

I’m looking to add a bottle of win for a gift to my mom and I know she has a taste for white zinfandel. I know nothing about wine, never having had a taste for alcohol, so could use some help, please.

I’m looking for a $20 to $30 gift and something fairly easy and common, I suppose. Especially since this is last minute addition. And yes, I have something else for her as well. But since I’m getting a $60 bottle of Maker’s Mark for my dad, I’d figured I’d get her something alcoholic as well.


I’m not aware of a fancy white zinfendel. It’s usually sold pretty cheap, and I don’t think there is much difference between them.

Most wine people will turn their nose up at the stuff. I agree with them, though I wont judge those that drink it. If I had to choose between any white zin and Nightrain, I’d pick Nightrain every time.

I’d suggest avoiding the white zin (there really are no good ones) and go with another sweet wine that has some decent quality. When I’m in the mood for a light, sweeter wine, I usually like a viognier, and event the best ones I’ve had don’t cost more than $10-$15.

I agree that if you aren’t stuck on getting a white zin, you should get a quality sweeter wine. Unfortunately, since I will generally dump a sweeter wine rather than put myself through drinking it, I can’t help pick one.

White Zin is a gateway wine and companies don’t go overboard trying to make the perfect blend. Many people start their wine purchases with this type of wine because it’s light and sweet. Beringer’s is as good as any. You may want to add a good dessert wine to the list to move her taste up the path of righteous wine snootery.

Don’t Drink White Zinfandel.

Barefoot vineyards makes a really tasty white Zinfandel but it’s not expensive. Every one if their wines I have tried is good, but I prefer sweeter wines to dry, bitter wines so maybe I wouldn’t make a good wine snob. Hey, if you mother likes it there’s no reason not to get it for her because a bunch of other people look down their noses at white zin.

I agree you won’t easily find a snobby White Zinfendal – white zin was a rose wine that was a huge fad, but quite a ways back.

But if you’re adding it to a Christmas gift, this might do: Chateau St Nicholas White Zinfandel. Cool looking bottle (Santa is on it, what could top that?), and the wine is probably just fine. I bought one 20+ years ago on a lark, and it wasn’t too bad, and I still have the bottle (because my given name is Nicholas), though I long ago graduated to Chablis. :slight_smile:

There are plenty of really great White Zinfandels in this area, but I don’t think many, or any really, make it very far distribution-wise. Most of the easy to find White Zin is pretty average stuff. So I’d suggest the same as others, a nicer bottle of a different varietal, maybe a Riesling, or even a dessert wine of some kind.

Off the top of my head though, if you are up for scoping out a wine shop or two, or have time to order online, these are some of my favorite white zins-

Pedroncelli - My absolute favorite. Probably my number one summer wine. I usually buy a case in the spring to have on hand on warm summer evenings.

Dashe Cellars - This one is fairly dry, but it’s got a lot of fruit - strawberry, citrus, etc.

Bonterra - Also dry yet fruity. Thinks raspberries and roses.

Truett Hurst - Zippy and vibrant.

Rotta - Fruity, lots of strawberry.

Montevina - It’s just a little too sweet for me, but it is styled more like most of the white zin you’ll find out there, with just a little more…I don’t know…finesse, maybe? Peaches, grapefruit, honeysuckle.

And there are tons and tons of rose wines, vin gris, etc., from all over the globe. Some of those might be right up her alley.

I think the harder part of this is that it’s hard to just give a bottle of white zin as a gift to balance out buying a $60 bottle of Maker’s Mark for his dad. There isn’t a white zin in the world that can compare on any level, including price. Even finding something from $20-30 will be difficult. I think the idea of getting a bottle of Beringers as well as a nice dessert or other sweet wine is excellent.

Zinfandel (red) is pretty good wine. But I’ll confess to drinking white zin sometimes, as well. Depends on what kind of mood I’m in. So, maybe a different ‘white’ variety of a traditionally red wine (given in concert with the white zin) would be appreciated; I myself am liking white merlot lately, with light dinners.

Riesling, as mentioned above, is also nice. And if she likes really sweet wines, look for some Barefoot (brand) moscato.

Actually, a basket (or better yet, ice bucket!) with a bottle each of white zin, white merlot and moscato, would balance out, pricewise, the dad’s Maker’s Mark (a fine bourbon!) and present nicely, too!

I’d get her a bottle of a decent white zin in the $10-15 range and ask someone at a good wine store to suggest a few other good selections for a white zin drinker in the same range.

I hope that $60 bottle of Maker’s is either one of the collectible ones or a really big one. Otherwise I’m never moving out of Kentucky. :slight_smile:

Interesting that Dashe makes a white zin. I wonder if it’s a saignee from their excellent dry zinfandels?

Second the suggestion of gift basket with white zin, moscato d’asti, and a dessert wine. Bonny Doon’s Vin du Glaciere is a tasty, aromatic, fairly inexpensive example of the latter. Love Moscato d’ Asti. It’s just so delicious and flowery, and the bubbles give a Champagne-y like feel to the festivities…

Just how big was the bottle of Makers that you bought for $60? In Houston, a handle of it goes for around $40, and we’re kinda pricey for spirits. At least, it seems that way after travelling through New Mexico and California.

Yes, if you are trying to make an equal value gift get a couple bottles of different wines and a cordless automatic corkscrew and put it in a basket (maybe even add a couple nice wine glasses) Automatic corkscrews run about $20 but there are some pricier models I checked several stores before I found some at Target. I got a $20 one for my sister but they also had a $40 one. I think the cheaper one is fine I’ve had the same model for a couple years and it works fine and has saved me a lot of frustration and corks in the bottle.

OK, many are suggesting a dessert wine in place of a white zin…I will agree that White zins are sweet, but they are no where near the sweetness level of a good dessert wine. PLus a good dessert wine with have a great body, extract and acidity that a simple wine like a white zin would lack. To move up form a white zin and yet keep some residual sugar the next step would be a German Table wine, (a Qba), or maybe a QmP (Pradikat) level wine like a Spatlese or an Auslese. of even go to South Africa and get a Steen (their term for CHenin Blanc) or a Vouvray from the Loire in france

Yep, it is. Which is exactly why it’s so easy to find good White Zin in this area, particularly the Dry Creek Valley. Many wineries will bleed off juice to improve the flavor and concentration of their red wines, leaving them with enough excess, slightly tinted juice to play around with. The result is usually a couple hundred cases or less of rose wines that are poured and sold in the tasting room. And really good stuff. Don’t believe the hype about no good White Zinfandel, because it’s bullshit. My husband is making one himself right now. :wink:
And Kylede, I don’t think anyone in this thread implied a White Zin could be replaced with a dessert wine in terms of taste or pairing or anything like that. But this is a gift, and if the OP knows the receiver likes White Zin, they just might also enjoy a quality dessert wine, which could easily be purchased in the price range they are looking at.

As has already been mentioned - a bottle of German Rielsing or Vouvray would work, and the Moscato d’Asti is a great idea too. The German might cost you up to $60 depending on a number of favctors, but it should be easy to find a slightly sweet Vouvray in the $20 range. Moscato d’Asti is rarely over $20.

Not yet mentioned - a bottle of Champagne that is ‘demi-sec’. I know Veuve Cliquot and Moet make them and should be relatively easy to locate, but there are others as well. They’re tough to find sometimes because the Brut (dry) style is most popular, but it would be a nice and unusual gift. Sometimes you can also find sparkling wines from other areas of France that are slightly sweet, like Jaillance “Clairette de Die” (quite affordable).

Also, Lambrusco, which is sparkling, Italian and semi-sweet but comes either red or white, whereas the Moscato is always a white wine so far as I know.

The three Moscatos I’ve had are white: Alice Walker (Australia); Barefoot (Australia, I think. . .) and Robert Mondavi for Beringer (or is it Beringer for Robert Mondavi? After several glasses, I’m never quite sure. . .)

I know that sweet wines are supposed to be “dessert wines”, but I myself like a nice sweet Moscato with an extra-sharp cheddar. The balance of the ‘bite’ (from the cheddar) with the sweetness of the wine appeals to me.

Buying a good German Riesling is not for the uninitiated. If you want to make a certain dollar value gift, and you know the person likes White Zin, then just get a few bottles of one of the White Zins suggested here, or a mix of a few different ones. Wine taste is very personal, and trying to second guess what a person might like based only on the knowledge that she likes White Zin is no easy task.