Learn The Secrets of Each Red Wine Color (by winefolly.com)

Posted: January 1, 2013 by wynmaker in Oenology, Tasting, Wine, World wine news
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The color and opacity of a wine gives you many hints as to the style of wine you’re about to enjoy. Most places where we typically enjoy wine are too dark to observe a wine, such as a low-lit restaurant or, in my case, an office room lit by a computer screen at 2am in the morning! However, if you look at the color of wine in a more scientific setting with clean lighting (and a white background) you’ll see how the colors of red wines are substantially different from one another. Learning how to identify the colors in red wine will help you become a blind-tasting master.


The Many Different Red Wine Colors
The color of wine indicates age, grape variety, density of flavor, acidity and more. By comparing the different colors found in various red wines you can learn to identify a wine just by looking at it.

Red Wine Color Variance What to look for.

Intensity of Color

How intense is the color of the wine? Is it pale with very little pigment or is it staining the sides of the glass? This pointer will tell you if the wine is lighter/denser in style. Wines with more intense colors tend to be bolder and have higher tannins. The longer a winemaker keeps the skins of the grapes in contact with the juice while making the wine, the darker and more intense the color of the wine becomes. However, along with the skins (that add intense color), there are also grape seeds (pips) and stems which will add increasing amounts of tannin to a wine. Too much tannin can make a wine bitter and overly dry. Hints of blue at the edge of the glass are an indication of higher acidity.


How opaque is the wine? Can you read text through the wine or is it so dark that you can barely see light through it. The opacity of a wine can tell you what kind of grape was used to make the wine and it can also tell you the age of a wine. An opaque wine can also be unfiltered and will look hazy (i.e. more opaque). This type of style is common in Italian wines where the winemaker intentionally doesn’t filter the wine in order to maintain rich textures and more dynamic flavor in the wine.

Learn more …


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