Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny



Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What are the differences between white Zinfandel and French rosé?

—David P., Los Angeles

Dear David,

Most rosés, French and otherwise, are dry wines made from red wine grapes with white winemaking practices. By limiting the juice’s exposure to the grapes’ skins, where the pigment is found, the color stays pale. (Some rosés are also made by blending red and white wines together.) Most rosés are dry and crisp, and my favorite thing to pair with French fries.

White Zinfandel was a happy accident. A batch of Zinfandel rosé that was intended to be dry suffered what’s known as a “stuck fermentation,” when the sugar doesn’t completely convert to alcohol. The slightly sweet result has become a huge success, even if it’s not appreciated by the wine-snob sect. That sweet note in white Zinfandel is the big difference between it and most other rosés.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers


WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.