Wines are usually labeled red, white or rose. When you are shopping for a wine you might ask the salesperson for a specific style of red or white wine.
The red wines most often come in dark bottles so it may be difficult to see its exact color through the bottle. The color is more defining when it is in the glass.
There are varying shades of red wine as described by wine writers and tasters with descriptors from claret to almost black and many shades of red in between.
White wines have a yellow hue from pale yellow to sunshine in a glass. Some white wines have more of a golden color and there are some whites with a greenish hue. Many of the white wines we most often choose to drink have a light-straw yellow color.
Rose wines come in many shades and few are actually a rose color. The range of pinks in some rose wines vary from blue-pink and all tones in between to purple-pink and even orange-pink.
The varied hues in the wines come from the type of grapes, the ripeness of the grapes, the area where the wine is produced, they way the wine is made (vinification), and the age of the wine.
When making red wine the grapes are crushed and fermented with the skins of the grapes. Because there are red and black grapes the color is determined by the grape variety.
White wine is made by crushing the grapes and the skins are removed. Some white wines are made using red grapes. Many varieties of red grapes produce white juice so that by discarding the skins the wine will not have color.
Rose wines are made using red grapes with minimal skin contact and sometimes a blending of red and white grapes are used.
Terroir and oxidation are two additional factors affecting the color of wine. Follow us next time to get the dirt.