Winemaking is an art. There are over 10,000 varieties available and there’s something to suit everyone’s palate. With so many wine varieties available, it’s nearly impossible to taste every single one ever made. However, there are two main categories of wine, red and white. Both have certain characteristics that make it easier for you to find one you love.
The experts at Artisan Excursion have put together a list of differences between red and white wine:
Made with different varieties of grapes
All wines were once made with the same grape known as Vitis Vinifera. It is believed that this species of grape was black and its natural mutation created white grapes too.
Red grapes are used to prepare red wines like Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, while white wines like Chardonnay, Prosecco, and Pinot Grigio are prepared with white grapes.
Different parts of the grape are used to prepare different wines
Once the desired grapes are picked to prepare wine, they are sent to the cellar for the winemaking process. Red and white wines are prepared using different techniques. Red grapes are fermented with the skin and seeds while white wines are fermented without. The skin gives red wines their deep color and the seeds lend their depth of flavor.
However, in certain cases, there are exceptions. The famous champagne known as Blanc de Noirs is made with red grapes but with white wine processing techniques. It therefore looks like a white wine instead of a red. White Pinot Noir is another such example.
White wines are sometimes fermented with the seeds and skin and these are known as orange wines. They have tannins that give them a similar flavor to red wine.
Varying winemaking techniques
Red wines possess rich and deep flavors coupled with a velvety texture. White wines, on the other hand, are appreciated for their acidic flavor, fruitiness, and floral aroma. To achieve these flavor profiles, winemakers use two distinct winemaking techniques.
The main difference between the preparation of red and white wine is the oxidation process. This process transforms the fruity and acidic flavor of wine for a deep and smoky flavor. Oak barrels are used for the oxidation proce