What Is Blush Wine Everything You Want To Know

What Is Blush Wine? Everything You Want To Know

A blush wine refers to the sweet 1980’s Californian creation known as “White Zinfandel”. Blush wines are actually created by fermenting the juice of dark-skinned grapes without the use of skins, much like a Vin Gris, to add color.

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What Is Blush Wine?

The color of blush wines ranges from a very light pink to a medium pink. No matter if the grapes are red or white, all wine grape juice is clear in color. By allowing the clear juice to come into contact with the colored skins of a wine, color is added to the wine. One of two methods can be used by winemakers to create blush wine: either they blend red and white grapes together, or they leave the clear juice in contact with the red wine grape skins for about an hour to add a little color. Rosé is another name for blushing wines.

Varietals Of Blush Wine

White Zinfandel, White Merlot, and White Grenache are the most popular blush wine varieties in the US. While these varietals have “white” in the name, they are all made from red wine grapes left in minimal contact with the skins so they have a pink color. You can find rosé wines made from a wider variety of red wine grapes, from pink Champagne to rosé Sangiovese. From any red wine grape, rosé can be produced.

Characteristics Of A Blush Wine

  • More body than a light wine
  • Light with crisp flavors
  • Typically floral & fruity
  • Perfectly balanced alcohol, sugar, & acid
  • Not as powerful to drink as red wine

Food Pairing Of A Blush Wine

Blush wines are excellent food partners because of their delicate flavors. Some great pairings to try include:

  • Goat cheese
  • Salmon
  • Barbecue
  • Lobster
  • Italian food with red sauce

See more about What Is Vintage Wine?

What Is Blush Wine Everything You Want To Know
What Is Blush Wine? Everything You Want To Know

What Distinguishes Blush Wine From Red Or White Wine?

The winemaking procedure that results in them, particularly the fermentation procedure, is what actually distinguishes blush wines from red and white wines. Let’s start by discussing how white wine and red wine differ from one another. White or occasionally even black grapes are used to make white wines. The juice is then taken from the skin and seeds of the grapes, and only the juice is used to make wine.

Instead of using white grapes, winemakers use both black and red grapes to make red wine. Additionally, unlike with white wine, the grape skins and seeds are left in. Instead, they are allowed to ferment inside the stainless steel vats that contain the juice. The skin and seeds are what give red wines their color and their deeper flavor. You can discover the various well-known wine varieties, including Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, and Pinot Meunier, in this way.

This demonstrates why red wine, like Grenache, has contact with the skins, seeds, and stems of grapes, as opposed to white wine, like Moscato, which does not.

White wines and blush wines have many things in common. Blush wines, on the other hand, have a slightly more pronounced body and are more frequently sipped in the summer because of their freshness. A few blush wines with vibrant coloring may also be more complex and structured like red wines.

The concept of “blush wine” is actually the outcome of two accidents. These incredibly fortunate incidents are now regarded as our blush wine, thanks to them. When Bob Trinchero, the winemaker at Sutter Home, tried to make a darker, redder Zinfandel, the first accident happened. In order to create a more potent ratio of skins to juice and a more robust red, he was bleeding off some juice from a fermentation tank. Then, this juice was turned into a rosé and advertised like any other pink wine or wine with a light pink hue.

Bob was making rosé from the Zinfandel grape when the second happy accident—and the cause of the White Zin rage—happened. While he was working away, the tank endured “Stuck Fermentation” this is where the yeast cells decay before the process completes leaving a winemaker with a semi-sweet pink wine. Realizing what he had done, Bob put his creation in a bottle and gave it the name White Zinfandel instead of calling it rosé. The results are strikingly similar even though the grapes were not pressed like with Vin Gris.

He had a very clever reason for giving it the name White Zinfandel. This happened in the 1970s and 1980s, a time when Americans were less likely than we are today to experiment with new wines. Because of this, the idea of rose generally confused consumers. Winemakers opted to refer to their pink-hued wines as White Merlot and White Cabernet Sauvignon on the labels rather than Rosé. To the usual red wines, they simply added the word “white.” Although these were just rose wines, it was much simpler for a consumer to comprehend, feel comfortable buying, and enjoy drinking them. Blush volunteered to take over because the color spectrum was not accurately defined by simply prefixing common red wine names with “white.”

This technique was effective up until the 1990s, when domestic pink wine started to be referred to as blush. The majority of wine consumed in the USA, 22%, was blush wine. France made a statement as our appetites evolved and expanded along with our wine market. By 2014, the blush concept had been abandoned in favor of US winemakers trying to imitate the French style, as the French were huge fans of the dry, crisp style of these wines.

Rosé Versus Blush

Although there is a slight difference between the two terms, many people mistakenly use them interchangeably. Any wine that is referred to as rosé is created from juice that has been in contact with the skins for about an hour. While blush wines can be produced in either way, rosé wines are never a combination of red and white wine. All blush wines are therefore blushes, but not all blush wines are rosé wines.

The French method of producing wines that range in color from grayish pink to very dark pink is known as rosé. The word blush has increasingly been replaced with the term rose in recent years. Although the outcomes might be comparable, blush wines are typically mass-produced, large-lot wines as opposed to the meticulously crafted, small-batch rosé wines.

Make A Pink Coloured Wine

A wine that is pink can be created in essentially three different ways.

Vin Gris (“gray Wine”)

Rosé wine that is extremely pale. Similar to how white wine is made, red wine is made by lightly pressing the grapes, then fermenting the juice (without the use of skins). The end result is a wine with very light pigmentation, a nearly grayish hue, and delicate flavors.

Saignée (the “bleed” Method)

Red wine grapes are crushed, but until the desired shade of pink is obtained, the juice and the skins only come into contact for a short period of time (2 hours to 2 days). A portion of the juice is “bled off” the skins. The juice subsequently undergoes independent fermentation, becoming rose. An interesting side note is that the juice that stays in contact with the skins is used to create red wine.

Combining Red Wine And White Wine.

Although many new world rosé wines and Champagne use this technique, some people may view it as cheating.


There are probably blush or rosé wines made from red wine grapes if there are red wine grapes at all. There is sure to be something you like given the wide variety of blush wines available. Choose the rosé equivalent of the red wine varieties you enjoy first. One of your favorite wines might just emerge from it!

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