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Forkmedia LLC


by Fred McMillin
for June 21, 2000


Death of a Wine


Montevina American wine drinkers are weaned on cold, sweet drinks--fruit juice, soda pop, etc. Hence, to satisfy the great American sweet tooth, the wine industry has marked each decade with a new "pop wine," such as White Zinfandel in the 1980s.

...Willie Gluckstern's Wine Avenger

The era of banal White Zinfandel, with its bubble-gum taste, has passed.

...San Francisco Examiner newspaper, 1997

Death of a Wine?

Sounds as though White Zinfandel is doomed. Its era is over. But wait one darn minute. Gladys Horiuchi of California's Wine Institute has sent me some interesting sales numbers...

1997—"There was an astronomical gain to 420,046 tons of Zinfandel crushed this year, a 40% jump over the 1996 crush. Most of it is destined for the production of White Zinfandel, which holds the second largest share of table wine sales (after Chardonnay)."

1998—Supermarket sales of the top California table wines have increased 12%, the largest seller being Chardonnay and second is White Zinfandel, ahead of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and red Zinfandel.

1999—Supermarket sales:
Chardonnay—18% of cases sold
White Zinfandel—15%
Cabernet Sauvignon—8%

It looks to me like White Zin is alive and well. So, for your summer sipping, here's our..

Our Wine of the Day

1999 Montevina White Zinfandel, Amador County
Production—Popular stuff, 40,000 cases
Chemistry—2.3% sugar balanced by plenty of acid
Winemaking—The original wine was fermented to dryness. Then enough unfermented Zinfandel juice was added to provide the two percent sugar.
Tasting Notes—Classic raspberry, strawberry flavors; fairly tart; perfect for picnics
Rating—For White Zin fans, RECOMMENDED
Contact—Stan Hock or Sandy Flanders, (707)963-3104, FAX (707)963-2381
Price—$6.50 range


Located in the Sierra Foothills, the Montevina winery is completing a ten million dollar expansion that will increase floor space twelve times. Winemaker Jeff Meyers turns out over a dozen different wines. The biggest volume by far?...his White Zinfandel.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


This page created June 2000