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by Fred McMillin
for December 4, 2000

 

Boom!


Prologue

That boom was the White Zinfandel explosion.

  • 1971—0 cases a year of White Zin in the world
  • 1991—15,000,000 cases produced!


    The Rest of the Story

    And the popularity of White Zin continues. The last figures we saw showed sales are now up to twenty million. In the supermarkets last year, one out of every four bottles of wine was pink, primarily White Zin.

    Looking at a White Zin article in the San Francisco Chronicle written during the explosion, the first wine listed is the 1990 Delicato. Author Gerald Boyd's appraisal: "Fresh strawberry, raspberry aroma...clean, crisp with a touch of sweetness and a balanced finish." Sounds a lot like...


    Our Wine of the Day

    Delicato White Zinfandel1999 Delicato White Zinfandel, California
    Character—Lovely pink, a little sugar matched with plenty of acid...made for conversation rather than contemplation. Gentle on the palate since alcohol content is a moderate 10.6%.
    Who fashioned it?— Senior winemaker Tim Wong has been married to his wife 21 years and to wine 27 years (i.e., he graduated from U.C.-Davis in 1973).
    Here's his unusual strength—He has specialized in raising the quality of large-volume wines. His first winemaking teacher was one of the greatest, Professor Maynard Amerine. Possibly the most important lesson Tim learned from him was to recognize that the industry "is very competitive. My greatest strength is to look ahead and innovate. Don't get locked into a static style," He's constantlydeveloping new techniques for the difficult task of raising and maintaining the quality of large-volume wines, and they don't get much larger than his 150,000 cases a year of W.Z.
    I'm Dreaming of a PINK Christmas—If your Christmas guest list includes primarily only casual wine drinkers, it is much more likely that they would enjoy Tim's W. Z. , than some expensive Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Your budget will enjoy it more, too. Look at these prices.
    Prices—Bottle: $6, Magnum (two bottles): $10
    Contact—Born in Campobello, Italy, Gaspard Indelicato planted his first vines in California in 1924. Third generation Cheryl Indelicato (marketing degree) is your charming contact: phone—(209) 603-8880, FAX—(209) 824-3510.


    Postscript

    I first heard of Delicato in a telephone conversation with my friend, Prof. John Baxevanis, author of the excellent The Wine Regions of America. He said it was "a large, underrated winery that offers great values." Tim's White Zinfandel is one of those fine values.

     

    About the Writer

    Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

     
     


     
     

    This page created December 2000

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