White Zinfandel sales skyrocket as America loses it's French-style snootiness about wine.
Americans are known to love Pepsi, Coke, and A&W Root Beer and have finally come home to White Zin as sales increase dramatically. “We have a sweet tooth," America proclaims! Sutter Home and Beringer rule for now, but there are micro-wineries getting into the mix including a new Diamond Mountain White Zinfandel Reserve going of $150/bottle, if you can find it after Parker gave it a 96.
The true marketing genius though, is shown with the new 2010 vintage of Barflys and James Nearly White Zinfandel that comes in a box decorated with various pop stars. Says 16 year old cheerleader Allison (last name withheld) of Kearney, Nebraska, "I love seeing my favorite boys on the boxes and I love the little sippy straw that comes with the box. I shared this with the team before the game last weekend and I think the team captain really likes me now!"
Likewise, Merlot has made a big comeback after being beat down by the mediocre not-quite-gay buddy movie “Sideways.” Merlot is king again. And the softer the better. "It's a great commodity wine,” says the Wine Speculator magazine. Many Merlots are again getting that soft Central Valley fruit California is so well-known for and many are easily getting scores in the upper-80s again.
Most experts believe the reason for Merlot's rise is because people are getting tired of “off” flavors of tannins, green spicy things, and blueberries. “I just want wine, I don't want to think about it," says a prominent Manteca retailer.
Suggestions (from Napa, of course):
Screaming Crow, a little pricey at $900, but it'll impress you neighbor, the doctor
Shiffer “Cliff-side Select”
Cane Cinco, uses the Big Five grapes found in the best field blends. Besides Zin there's Petite Sirah, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, and Thompson
Three Buck (Up)Chuck Reserve, a high-end version of the two dollar stuff you usually see.
Delicrapo. This one's actually from Lodi, but with their agriculturally polluted water this one has a complexity you don't often find.
Quackhorn. The name is synonymous with the best in Merlot.