The Difference Between Red and White Wines
Red wines and white wines are wine varieties that come in a wide range of colours. Wine lovers in Singapore often debate which is better but it is important to remember that each wine type has its own flavour profile and it is best to try both yourself before deciding which one you like more.
While red and white wines are largely different, they were originally made from one species of grape called Vitis Vinifera. Vitis Vinifera grapes might come in a range of red and white these days, but Ampelographers believe that they might have been black grapes originally, with natural mutation creating the first white grapes.
Read on to find out more about the differences between red and white wines now.
Different Production Processes
Other than colour differences, red and white wines also differ in production processes. The key differences lie in the fermentation process, in which red wines are fermented with grape skins and seeds while white wines are not. This is also the process that gives red wines their signature colour - from the skins and the seeds of the grapes.
However, there are also special cases where white wines are fermented without having the grape skins and seeds removed. Wines made with this method are commonly referred to as Orange Wines and they share a taste resemblance with red wines and have tannin. Similarly, Blanc de Noirs, a red wine which is made with the white wine method has an appearance that looks like white wine. Other red wines that look like white wines include the White Pinot Noir or Pinot D'alsace.
Their Taste Differs
Both red wines and white wines have their own unique taste, but both types of wines each have their own spectrum of differing tastes. For example, some white wines are very sweet, and others dry while red wines tend to be on the bitter side, with a puckering taste. White wines also have a lighter, fruitier flavour than red wines, which tend to be bolder with more complexities.
The main reason why red wines are more bitter is due to the tannins present within the wine, which is enabled by the fermentation process that keeps the grape skins and seeds on. Without the grape skins, there will be little to no tannins in the wine, causing it to be sweeter and lighter like white wines.
Enjoying Red and White Wine
With its differences in taste and flavour, it is only natural that red and white wines have different ways of consumption in order to reap the most out of each bottle.
Since red wines contain tannins, it is recommended to allow red wines to “breathe” by decanting them before serving. Decanting would aerate the wine and increase its natural aromas and soften the taste of tannins that can cause harshness for younger wines. While white wines can benefit from five to ten minutes of “breathing”, one should serve immediately after as decanting white wine for too long can cause it to lose its vibrancy and freshness.
When it comes to storage, the common belief that red wine must be served at room temperature while white wine should always be served chilled is not entirely true as some whites can develop aromas when warmed slightly.
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