Color in Red Wine: What It Means and What It Doesn’t

Color in Red Wine: What It Means and What It Doesn’t

Color in Red Wine: What It Means and What It Doesn’t.

Red wine is one of your favorite beverages. When you’re out shopping for Burgundy wines, does the variety of options excite you? Or are you someone who is just beginning to dangle their toes in the sea of red?

Whatever the case, this guide to the mysteries of color in red wine and what it means will provide you with an insider’s view into that stunning palette….

The Wine’s Lack of capacity

No doubt you’ve come across this phrase before. Full-bodied or light-bodied wines are both evaluated on the same principle—can you see through the wine to the other side of the bottle? If you don’t, you’ll have a highly opaque wine that’s also a great example of a full-bodied red.

Along with revealing the body of the wine, the opacity of wine may reveal the kind of grape that was used in its production as well as the age of the bottle.

Although certain grapes produce more opaque wines than others, this does not necessarily signify age. However, it may point you in the correct path if you know where to look for them.

The distinctiveness of the rim

A further hint to the mystery of red wine’s hue and what it signifies comes from the variance in the rim of the wine glass.

I’m not sure what it means, but it sounds promising. When you pour wine into a glass and hold it up to the light, you may be able to see the spectrum of colors reflected in the liquid.

Wines with constant color from the center outward to the rim are known as “semi-foil wines.” Those who are affected will notice a change in coloration.

A large rim variation is seen in older wines (where the color in the center is quite a few shades darker than that near the rim). Younger wines will have a narrower rim fluctuation, with just a modest lightening on the margins of the winery.

Various Reds on a Color Scale

Now that we’ve learned about opacity and rim variation, we can go even further into the many different shades of red wine that are available.

Simply put, the three suggestions below are only beginning points—they’ll provide the foundation you’ll need to comprehend the hues seen in your next bottle of vino.

Tones of Deep Ruby

If you look for certain varietals, you’ll see rich red tones, but you may also associate those deeper colors with wines that are younger. Those red tones will be seen throughout the glass, not only in the center when it comes to rim variation in young wines.

Those who like young Cabernet Sauvignon should try it.
Syrah is still in its infancy.
The Pale Berry of Young Merlot

Many people consider wine with a light cherry tint to be a more approachable kind of wine. The presence of tannins in wines is often associated with dark wines.

Tanning is reduced in lighter wines, which makes them more approachable to drink. Because these lighter reds have a lighter body, they are not as opaque as the darker reds mentioned above. Nevertheless, in this case, the degree of opacity (or the absence of it) does not correspond to the age of the object being studied.

Vineyard-grown Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot with pale berry tones (a bit more on the orange scale in rim variation)

What exactly does it mean to ‘rack’ a bottle of wine?

I’ve heard winemakers state that their wine has not been filtered, but rather has simply been ‘racked’ a few times. They may also mention that the wine has been ‘fined.’. Just what exactly is going on here.

Clarification is achieved via the removal of suspended particles, typically yeast, from wines in any of these methods (the lees).

Gentle pumping of the wine out of a barrel or tank from a level higher than that of the lees may be performed after the lees have settled to the bottom of the vessel.

The lees are left at the bottom of the tank, and the clear wine is pulled out as a result of this procedure.

Adding certain components to the wine (such as egg white) is how fining is accomplished. The egg white spreads over the surface of the wine and then gently descends to the bottom of the tank, carrying away all of the suspended particles with it as it does so.

Once this is done, the clear wine may be drawn off and stored in bottles. They are regarded superior to filtration, which involves pumping wine under pressure through a succession of paper filters to eliminate any sediment that may have formed.

In rare cases, filtering out some of the flavors of the wine may result in a minor ‘cardboard’ taste in the wine if the process is not done with care.

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