So, Sat night I sat down w/ three strangers:
~ HendryVnyds HendryRanch NapaVlly Rose Wine (13%; 100% Primitivo) 2005: $15.50
~ SutterHomeFamilyVnyds Calif White Merlot (11.5%) 2006: $4.00
~ GalloFamilyVnyds TwinVlly White Zinfandel Calif (9%) 2006: $4.00
I had never in my life knowingly tried a White Merlot. I hadn't had a SutterHome White Zin in probably 4-5 yrs. I'm usually pretty good in finding at least something good in most any wine. I'm also using blush wine and rose wine interchangeably here. So...two blushes and a rose. There was no obvious differences in the colors that would distinguish one from the other.
The two wine shops I stopped in SantaFe at had no Gallo, SutterHome, nor Beringer blush wines. I had to stop at an Albertson's grocery store to pick up those gems; hoping I could do so annomously and nobody would see TomHill buying a WhiteMerlot.
So, I poured a healthy glass of each of the three, labeled the bottom of each glass, closed my eyes & shuffled them around till I no longer knew which was which, a semi-blind tasting. And then I tasted them:
Wine #1: Pale bright red color; rather grapey/simple/bit spicy very ruhbarb slight chile powder/cotton candy very slight pickle juice (VA?) nose; soft/underacid fairly sweet slight herbal/weedy/chile powder very ruhbarby simple/grapey flavor; very short/vapid slight herbal/weedy finish; pretty boring stuff.
Wine#2: Pale red color; very grapey/candied/confected very strong strawberry/Nehi strawberry soda pop slight floral/muscat nose; soft/underacid/watery pretty sweet strong strawberry/strawberry soda pop/confected simple/vapid flavor; very short strong strawberry/confected/vapid finish.
Wine#3: Pale salmon/onion skin/red color; bit deeper/earthy/dusty slight spicy low key/grapey nose; soft slightly off-dry candied lightly grapey/fruity slightly earthy/dusty flavor; short cotton candy/grapey/confected slight earthy/dusty finish.
I thought the Hendry would stick out like a sore thumb. It did not. I was expecting a lot from it and it failed to deliver. I should have gone with the Beiler Provence Rose (mostly Syrah).
I did correctly identify the wines as:
#1: SutterHome WhiteMerlot: the slight weedy character was the tipoff.
#2: Gallo White Zinfandel: the suggestion of strawberries on the back label was the tipoff. This wine can only come from addition of artificial strawberry flavoring.
#3: Hendry Rose: the slightly lower r.s. level was the tipoff; plus the lower candied/confected character.
All three of these wines suffer from the same criticism I level at the 2$Chuck wines. They simply have no character of interest other than grapey. They are utterly boring and vapid wines. I cannot conceive of any circumstances that I would be able to drink these wines with any degree of pleasure. Later, I retried the wines w/ Pan-Seared/Orange Glazed Sea Scallops. The dish, slightly sweet as it was, did nothing for the wines other than make them seem even more vapid.
So...bottom line...I see no reason to waste my alcohol consumption on the genre of blush wines. It's simply not a category of wine that appeals to my (snobbish?) palate. But, you say, you didn't try the Beringer White Zin. True, and maybe, just maybe, it IS a wine I would enjoy drinking. But I find the probability of that being true unlikely.
I certainly don't dismiss rose wines as a category at all. I've had a number in the last month that I thoroughly enjoyed. So, as I walk down the supermarket aisle, and bypass the Franzia box of White Cabernet (even though I've never tried it) in favor of the EdmundsStJohn Bone Jolly Rose, or skip over the SutterHome WhiteZin-Chard (even though I've never tried it) in favor of the Ojai Rose, or ignore the Woodbridge White Dornfelder (even though I've never tried it) to grab the Einkidu Grenache Rose; does that make me a wine snob??? I really could not care less. Life IS too short to be drinking bad wine. And from what I've seen Sat night, and on a few other occasions; blush wines offer me nothing of interest. Rose wines?? Yeah, I will continue to try them and, no doubt, find some I can drink w/ pleasure. But I don't think it'll say Gallo on the label and sell for $4/btl.