While most people at times have tried various red wine and white wine, many have little idea as to what differentiates each type. Wine varieties are often only distinguished by their color but there is far more to this subject than just that.
If you are one of those people who struggles a bit with wine varieties, then this article will assist by informing you of the what causes the differences between the wine varieties. Subtle changes in the wine making process can produce red wine or white wine, tasting dry or sweet or anywhere in between, from the same basic ingredient.
Generally speaking, red wine is more robust and more complex than white wine.
Conversely, white wine is generally lighter and without the complexity of red wine. So why is this?
Though the type of grapes used in wine production do matter, the main difference in the wine varieties is a result of the fermentation process. Red wine is mostly made from red and black grapes, while white wine is from green grapes. Sometimes red, black and white grapes are combined with the result usually being a red wine.
During the fermentation process for white wine, 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 wine the grape stems, seeds and grape skins are all left in the squeezed juice.
By leaving the stems, seeds and grape skins in the juice, tannins and pigments are produced which are the key ingredients for producing the complexity of red wines. This action is then the differentiating factor between the wine varieties.
Tannins are compounds that are present in grapes and other plants. For example, when you drink a very strong cup of tea, the bitter, sharp taste is caused by these tannins. In wine making, the tannins act to prevent oxidation of the wine during the aging process.
This prevention is very important in the production of red wine since red wine is usually aged and matured for much longer than white wine. As a result of the longer aging process the tannins provide another layer of flavor which in turn increases the complexity of the wine, making it more robust. The bite of the tannins diminishes and mellows as the wine ages.
So there you have the simple chemical explanation for the difference in wine varieties.
Both red and white wine commence with pretty much the same raw material but subtle differences in the manufacturing and aging processes give distinctly different wines by the time it gets to our dinner table.
If you are interested in learning more about wine varieties, this wonderful book, Wine Grape Varieties, describes the almost one hundred of them used in wine making today.Text Content
If you are interested in learning more about wine varieties, this wonderful book, Wine Grape Varieties, describes the almost one hundred of them used in wine making today.k