Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

blush, wine is a very pale pink popular American speciality made, rather like France’s vin gris, by using black-skinned grapes as if to make white wine. A marketing triumph emanating from California in the late 1980s (the name was originally coined by Mill Creek winery but the style was promulgated by Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home), it differs from rosé mainly in ethos rather than substance, having become fashionable just when and where rosé was losing its market appeal (although a blush wine is likely to be perceptibly paler than a rosé). white zinfandel was initially the dominant type in this class, but it spawned many other pinks-from-reds such as varietals labelled White Grenache, Cabernet Blanc, and Merlot Blanc, as well as generics and wines made from hybrid grapes such as maréchal foch and chambourcin. Most are sweet, vaguely aromatic, and faintly fizzy. Blush wines’ share of all wine consumed in the US was 22% in the late 1990s but by 2014 many consumers had graduated to drier, smarter rosés. See also saignée.