Odds are you’ve heard of Zinfandel, often affectionately called Zin. Zinfandel sounds like a cool wine, right? It sounds like the kind of drink you should have in your glass at a high-end party hosted by your rich boss. The name itself sounds classy.
Wait, aren’t there two kinds of Zin?
You’re one smart wino. Yup, there are two types — Red and White. Now this can get kinda confusing, especially when people just say they’re drinking a Zin, without adding the color as a helpful descriptor. Luckily though, there’s a general rule of thumb. When someone just says Zinfandel, without adding the color in front of its title, they’re referring to Red Zin instead of its white companion. Although Red Zin gets all the glory of being the Zin, it’s actually White Zinfandel that most people love. White Zin makes up 85 percent of all Zinfandel produced. So what’s the real difference between the two?
White Zin is a favorite choice among wine drinkers to help them ease into the world of wine. It’s kinda like Rosé, honestly. It’s hard to hate. Unless you have a serious aversion to anything sweet. White Zin has a sweet taste that makes it easy to enjoy anytime. It has a lower ABV (alcohol content) and is lighter on the caloric intake (around 125 cals/6 oz. serving), meaning it’s the perfect drink for wine newbies.
Red Zin lives up to the classy-sounding name of Zinfandel. This wine oozes sophistication and class. Unlike its white counterpart, Red Zin has much more complexity and intensity of flavors. Along with a bigger flavor profile, Red Zin has a higher ABV content, around 14-17 percent, which is pretty high for wines. This high ABV gives Zin its texture and big, bold body that you can’t really get in White Zins.
With two very different kinds of the same wine, what pairs well with them? You probably guessed it, but what pairs well with one doesn’t necessarily pair well with the other, but sometimes certain dishes will pair well with both wines. For Red Zin, think spice. Even though it has a heavy body and bold flavors, it’s still relatively sweet for a red wine, and that means anything spicy is the perfect pairing for this vino. Our favorite combo is Zin and anything curry-related. Zin has deep flavors of blueberry, pepper, plum and even licorice. Your first sip will initially fill your taste buds with those fruits, but will then finish with strong spice tastes. So if you really want to go all out, test your wine first to pinpoint the spice flavors in your glass, and then add those same spices to your dish.
White Zin also likes spicier food, but pairs really well with creamy, buttery pasta dishes or acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes. Carbs happen to be our one true love, and we’re obsessed with a creamy tomato pasta dish and a glass of White Zin. Consider celebrating #Winesday with a glass of Zin tonight. We’ll be enjoying a glass right there with ya. Cheers!