News Wine Appreciation

The Diff in Wine … The Difference Between Red and White

red_vs_white

The Diff in Wine …

 

Not only are wines different based on varietal, they are different based on so many other things such as:

  • Vintner– Every winemaker has a specific recipe which they follow to produce a bottle of wine.
  • Age– The age of a wine makes a big difference on how it tastes. The longer a wine is aged, especially reds, the bigger and bolder the flavor characteristics.
  • Casking– Wine casked in wood, like oak, taste noticeably different than wines which are stored and aged in other materials.
  • Grape blend– The grape blend of a particular wine dramatically affects its flavor and aromatic qualities simply because the grapes themselves have their own flavor characteristics.
  • Growing season– The growing season in one part of the world is often different from the growing season in another part of the world. So, a Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s hot dry season will taste different than a Cab grown in France’s cool, wet growing season.

 

Those are just a few short examples of how other factors, besides the varietal itself, affects the flavors and aromas of any particular bottle of wine.

 

The Difference Between Red and White

Though the obvious difference is the color of the wine, some white wines are actually made with black grapes. The difference comes in the fermentation process. Red wines are fermented with skins and seeds intact. When fermenting white wine with black grapes, vintners remove the skins and seed, so the end result is a white wine the color of straw or hay. When fermenting blush wines, vintners leave the skins intact for only a short period of time, giving the wine its light pink or rose color.

 

Next we present you with some basic differences for both red and white wines based on varietal, grape, body and flavor characteristics.

 

 

Red Wine Differences
Varietal Grape Body Flavor Characteristics
Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Light to medium Ripe strawberries and raspberries
Shiraz Syrah Medium Dark cherries, cassis, slightly peppery
Merlot Merlot Medium Plums, currants and blackberries
Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Full Leathery, earthy and tannic

 

 

White Wine Differences
Varietal Grape Body Flavor Characteristics
Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigo/Gris Light Ripe peach and grapefruit
Riesling Riesling Light Flinty with apples and pears
Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Medium Herbaceous, vegetable and citrus fruit
Chardonnay Chardonnay Full Oaky with tropical fruit flavors