In a “yes way, rosé” world, it isn’t surprising that last summer’s most Instagrammed alcoholic beverage was the bluntly named White Girl Rosé, a collaboration between social media personalities The Fat Jew and Babe Walker. Shockingly, some of us didn’t manage to fit White Girl Rosé into our summer wine rotation last year, but good news: it’s back for another vintage, and we made six NYC-based sommeliers blind taste it to get some real, unbiased opinions.
First, some background: White Girl Rosé is a blend of Zinfandel and a little Sauvignon Blanc, as far as we can tell (there isn’t much information on the wine readily available). So that means that, yes (or should we say “yas!”), this does indeed qualify as White Zinfandel. What the bottle, with its generic “California Rosé Wine” designation, lacks in information it makes up for in compliments (“You look great! Have you lost weight?”). And, while there is no specific winery listed as producing White Girl Rosé, the wine is bottled by Yasss Queen, and no, we did not make that up. For those who think that White Girl Rosé’s traditional bottle (with a cork that’s printed with the reminder to “Stay Basic,” of course) is just not portable enough, fear not: this summer also brought the fizzy, canned Babe Rosé in mini-size.
So what do our sommeliers think of White Girl Rosé, knowing not what the wine is as they taste? Let’s see. In our opinion, White Girl Rosé smells like overly confected cotton candy and tastes like lemon SweeTarts, and while something in the wine actually burns the nose when smelling it, it isn’t entirely as bad as we thought it would be.
“Is that effervescence I see there? On the nose I get this pretty distinct watermelon Jolly Rancher component and this powdered cement thing, like if you’re walking by a construction site. It’s not a very complex rosé. I think that it lacks acidity and it’s a bit too full-bodied on the palate for me, not light and crisp. It would be great if it was ice cold, but to be perfectly honest, any ice cold rosé is fine because it’s just cold, thirst-quenching alcohol. It’s just supposed to be crushable and I think this … could be crushable? But I would prefer a lighter-bodied, minerally rosé. I don’t think it’s god-awful, but it’s fine. I would drink this, but I’m not going to be telling my friends about it.”
Final guess: South of France, maybe Bandol, with a lot of Mourvèdre
“It tastes like Jolly Ranchers, and almost like Mike’s Hard Strawberry Lemonade. Did you just pour Mike’s Hard Lemonade into the glass? It is very powdered lemonade-y. This is a wine that people who Instagram a lot would like, and it would be really great with whatever other food you’re Instagramming. It’s perfect for Instagram!”
Final guess: Argentina
“The alcohol actually balances out [the sugar] in a weird way. Country Time! It tastes like Country Time strawberry lemonade. It’s like a drinkable macaroon! My mom would drink this. My mom would drink the heck out of this, and I would drink it with her, because I love my mom.”
Final guess: Spain
“It tastes like watermelon candy, cotton candy, and there’s like four grams of [residual sugar] here. It’s like a strawberry lemonade Blow Pop. It was made by an aggressively university-trained winemaker. I feel complete indifference about this wine, but my hatred for this is zero, maybe a .5. Whatever, it’s an alcoholic beverage. It tastes like a Country Time popsicle! And how much does Country Time cost you?”
Final guess: Zinfandel from California
“It’s that gorgeous salmon color, the color rosé should be. It’s delicious, really bright and high-toned with a lot of red fruit: tart red cherry, green strawberry, and soft green herbs. It’s quite crunchy on the palate, which I really appreciate, and the finish is super lush and juicy. This is a super drinkable, patio style rosé (though I would maybe throw a little seltzer in it). I would sell the heck out of this; two thumbs way up.”
Final guess: Corsican rosé
“It smells like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, and the color is that factory pink rather than a salmon color. There’s a lot of tart, almost citric acid up front, like they picked it ripe and then acidified, but there’s still residual sugar. It does taste like lemonade — what’s that lemonade powder? — like Crystal Light! The people who would drink this are everyone between the ages of 17 and, let’s say, 39. I think this is … are you giving us White Girl Rosé?”
Final guess: White Girl Rosé