Most people are completely unaware of the fascinating insights they can gain just by looking at the color of wine. The color of a wine gives hints as to the type of wine you are about to drink. When you talk about red wine, most wine enthusiasts think its color is simply red, exactly as the name suggests. In fact, there are shades of red easy to observe with clean lighting. Learn to discover the secrets of color in red wine.
The color of a red wine—as it happens with wine in general—indicates age, grape variety, flavor density and much more. You can identify the various red wines at a glance by comparing the different hues found in each variety.
Where Does the Red Color in Red Wines Come From?
Before diving right into the secrets of color in red wine, let’s get down to the basics. The red color in wine comes from a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is usually found in plums, blueberries and cherries. It is also present in flowers such as orchids. The pigment, in the case of red wine, comes from the skins of grapes. Different levels and expressions of this pigment can occur in different red varieties. The science behind this process is really complex. Fortunately for us, simple observations are all we need to discover the secrets of color in red wine.
Intensity of Color in Red Wine
Knowing how intense the color of wine is will tell you if the wine is lighter or denser. Normally, wines with more intense colors are bolder and richer in tannins than paler ones. Grape skins add intensity to the color the longer they are in contact with the juice while winemaking takes place. Grape seeds and stems add increasing amounts of tannin to a wine and thus can make it bitterer or drier. Wines with a more red colored hue have lower pH; whereas those whose hue is closer to a blueish tint have higher pH.
Opacity: How Opaque Is the Wine?
The opacity of a wine can indicate what kind of grape was used to make the wine and can also tell you the age of the wine. Furthermore, some winemakers take advantage of opacity to make certain wines look hazier maintaining rich textures and dynamic flavor. This is common in Italian wines where wines are intentionally left unfiltered.
The value of color, which can be found toward the center, can tell you how old the wine is. Commercial wines tend to lose their color in a 4-year time frame, whereas premier wines can take up to a decade to start changing color. Wines that take a long time to change color are proven to taste better after years of storage.
Color in red wine can let you know what red wine variety you are enjoying. For example, Cabernet is almost entirely opaque but not as opaque as Syrah. At a young age, the colors of a Cabernet are dark ruby in the center to a magenta tinged edge. The red color will get lighter as this variety ages.
The wider the rim variation is, the older the wine is; the contrary is also true. Rim color also gives clues to identifying wine varieties as it happens with a Merlot that looks similar to a Cabernet. A Merlot has slightly orange tones on the rim a Cabernet does not. Blue tinges on the rim can also point to higher acidity.
Discover the Colors of VenToSpain
Spanish wines are renowned for their high quality. When it comes to drinking wine there’s no accounting for taste, and that’s why we invite you to try our carefully crafted wine line VenToSpain. Explore and experience the colors of Spain from the bottle to the wineglass.
Sources: www.vvwinetrail.com, www.winefolly.com