What goes into making a red wine?
Red wine is definitely distinctively different than white wine. The universe of red wine is full of characters. From the delicate Pinots to the strong, bold Zinfandels, the red wine petulant swings back and forth over a wide range of colors and flavors.
There are many reasons why red wines are thought to be superior or more complex than their counterpart, white, but what makes a red wine red? There’s more than meets the eye. If the only difference between red wines and white wines were the color, wine drinkers wouldn’t care whether they drank one or the other. In reality, the differences between white and red wine are far more than skin deep.
Thousands of different types of grapes in the world quality as wine grapes. All these grapes fall into one of two categories, according to the color of their skins: white or black.
Red wines are red because they are made from so-called red grapes (the reality is that these grapes are either purple or black.) During the winemaking process the pigmentation of the grapes skin colors the grape juice- and consequently the wine from that juice. Only red grapes can make red wine.
In addition for being responsible for the color of red wines, red grapeskins contribute certain flavors and texture characteristics to red wines. Red wines not only look completely different from white wines, but they also taste very different.
One substance that red wines take from their grapeskins is tannin. Tannin is a substance that exists in the skins of red grapes. Tannin is usually classified as a bitter or dry flavor. If used incorrectly, the wine can taste harsh and astringent from the tannin. The presence of tannin is the single most important difference between red and white wines. Some reds are naturally lower in tannin than others, but no matter what, all reds do contain some level of tannin.
Tannin is also responsible for that feeling behind the jaw and that dry feeling that is often contributed to red wines. It is a slightly acquired taste, but after many tastings, wine enthusiasts come to love and look forward to the whole mouth experience that the tannins give wine drinkers.
Take the time to sample as many red wines as you can. There are endless possibilities of taste, color and complete wine experiences. And what better thing to explore than wine?
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of Wine guides
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