There are a lot of debates going on this topic. The real differences between red wine and white wine go beyond simply the choice of color and the parts of grapes used to make these. In this article, we will try to uncover some fascinating facts about the differences between these two.
The types of grapes used
Fundamentally, as we assume, red wines like Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are made of red grapes. Then, most obvious the white wine like Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, etc. are made of white grapes. However, one of the most interesting facts about almost all wines which are now available in the market place is made of the same species of grapes named as Vitis vinifera. The first generation of Vitis vinifera grapes was believed to be black, and then they turned out to be white grapes due to natural mutation. So, the fact is that all Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc everything shares a unique DNA.
The process of fermentation
Once the grapes ripen and harvested and taken to cellars, the processes involved in preparing it for red wine differs from white winemaking processes. One major difference is that red wine is fermented primarily from the grape skins and the seeds. However, white wines are mostly fermented from the pulp. This is the reason why color red comes from the skin and seed of grapes.
However, there are some cases which is an exception to this common belief. The result of such processes is quite differently tasting wines. You can consider Blanc de Noirs and the white of blacks in this category. These are made through the process of making white wine, but it ends up differently. Some other examples are the White Pinot Noir and Pinot d’Alsace etc. as listed at Sokolin website.
Making white wines, another special method used is that the white grapes getting fermented with skins and seeds of white grapes. White wines made by using this technique are considered to be Orange Wines; however, they taste almost similar to the red wines and also contain tannin. However, this technique is rarely used in making wines, and the end products largely differ from others.
Aging of red vs. white wines are done differently
Red wines are admired for the rich, soft, velvety flavors, but on the other hand, white wine lovers fall for the floral aromas, zesty acidity, and the fruit notes in it. To get these features at best, the winemakers follow different methods during the aging of wines. The major difference between making red vs. white wine is in the oxidation process which helps lose the fruit and floral notes of wine in exchange for the nutty and rich flavor and smoothness. To increase the oxygen level, oak barrels are used as those can breathe and allow more oxygenation. To reduce oxygen exposure, stainless steel tanks are used, which will further result in preserving the flower and fruity flavors.
Both of these are noted to have health benefits, and choosing between red vs. white wine is purely a personal choice.