What is the Difference Between Red And White Wine?
The red wines are more robust, and commonly have much more complexity than white wines. White wines are generally lighter, without the complexity of reds. The grapes used do matter, but the main difference is in the fermentation process. Red wines are mostly made from red and black grapes, and white wine is made from green grapes. Sometimes, however, red, black, and black grapes are combined.
During the fermentation process for white wines, the stems, seeds, and grape skins are gently removed from the grape juice after it has been squeezed from the pressing machine. On the other hand, during the fermentation process for red wines the grape stems, seeds, and skins are left in the squeezed juice. This alone is the absolute biggest difference between red and white wine!
By leaving the stems, seeds, and grape skins in the juice it produces tannins and pigments that are responsible for the complexity of red wines. So more than what is “done”, or the fermentation… it’s the results OF the fermentation… or the extra materials being left in the juice as it turns into wine over time.
So what are tannins?
Tannins are compounds that are present in grapes as well as other plants, for example, tea leaves. When you drink a very strong cup of tea, the bitter, sharp taste is caused by these tannins. Tannins act to prevent oxidation of the wine during the aging process. This prevention is very important in red wines since they’re usually aged and matured for a much longer period of time than the whites. Because it is aged longer the tannins provide another layer of flavor, therefore increasing the complexity of the wine and also making it more robust. The bite and acidity of the tannins will diminish and be more mellow as the wine ages.
That doesn’t mean that red wine is better than white wine though! Both red and white wine can make an excellent addition to your delicious meal, depending on what brand and flavor you choose. The rules for picking the type of wine to match your meal is not edged in stone, but the differences in wine do provide some guidelines. I will commonly choose red wines to go with stronger-flavored meals because it is more complex and robust in taste.
White wines on the other hand typically pair better with food that is more delicate, or not as bold. Some people prefer red wine for meat dishes and white wine for fish and chicken dishes. The most important factor in choosing a wine for a meal, however, is your own taste. “For you”, the difference between red and white wine is simply your taste buds! Do you like it dry, light, sweet or slightly in between? Regardless of what wine you chose for your meal, just sit down and relax and pour yourself a glass.
Wine snob tip: As you enjoy your meal, first take a sip of your favorite type of wine without any food in your mouth. Some people make the mistake of sipping wine while still chewing… of course this is a nono! The proper etiquette is to sip your favorite delicious wine after chewing your food. This is the only way to truly enjoy your meal and get the true flavor of your wine… or so they say.
Need some help with choosing a wine for food, or finding a special wine for a special occasion? (like every day!) Want to discuss further the difference between red and white wine? Contact Pat the Wine Guy here at anyglasswithwine.com and he’ll hook you up!Follow my blog with Bloglovin