January 18, 2022

White Wine Vs. Red Wine: What’s The Difference?

The debate over red wine vs. white wine has been around forever. While both are delicious in their own right, their unique attributes make them distinct from each other.

Everyone knows that wine is made from fermented grape juice, but the color of wine does not come from the color of the grape juice. Nearly all grapes produce a juice that is almost clear. The color of a wine comes not from the juice or pulp, but from the grape skins and if they’re included in the fermenting process.

A big difference between red and white wine is how the grapes get processed initially. When making white wine, the grape skins and seeds are removed before fermenting. Although most of the grapes used to make white wine are white, some wines like Champagne, are fermented from red grapes. This is a style of wine known as “blanc de noir.”

On the other hand, when red wine is made, the grape skins and seeds remain in the juice as it ferments. This is what is responsible for red wine’s distinct color and flavor.

This is red wine vs white wine 101, but it doesn’t end there. Let’s dive into a few other differences between red and white wine.

Red Wine Vs. White Wine: Fermentation

This is a red wine vs. white wine basic you just can’t ignore. Red and white wines are fermented differently, with red wines being fermented in traditional oak barrels, whereas, white wines are typically fermented in stainless steel tanks. Aging in oak barrels increases the oxidation process, as well as imbues the red wine with tannins. This creates a rich, smooth flavor. On the other hand, aging white wine in a stainless steel tank reduces the oxidation process, preserving the fresh, fruity flavor of the grapes.

Red Wine Vs. White Wine: Tannins

When it comes to red vs. white wines, tannins should be taken into account.

In this regard, note that tannins don’t play a role in the flavor of white wines, but acidity does. There are three primary acids found in wines, tartaric, malic, and citric, and those flavors are more pronounced in white wines than red. The acidity is responsible for white wine’s crisp, tart flavors. It also helps to pair white wine with certain light foods, such as fish and seafood.

Tannins are largely responsible for red wine’s rich flavors. These tannins are phenol compounds found in many plants, such as tea and grape skins. Tannins provide the underlying reason for red wine’s complex flavors. Likewise, tannins help preserve red wines, allowing reds to age much longer than white wines. Red wines have been traditionally paired with meat dishes, as well as foods with rich, flavorful sauces.

It’s best if you join a wine tasting event to truly test red wine vs. white wine by flavor.

Red Wine Vs. White Wine: Health Benefits

Sure, we all tend to rate wines by their taste. But there’s something else many of us are curious about.

Red Vs White Wines: Which One Is Healthier?

In recent years, red wines have become known for their health benefits. This is because all of the health benefits of red wine are found in the seeds and skins of the grapes. Tannins, resveratrol, and polyphenols are the secret health ingredients found in the seeds and skins of wine grapes, so only red wines have high levels of these healthful compounds.

Overall, red wine also has slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals, as well as tannins, resveratrol, and polyphenols. However, white wine has fewer calories. So, if you’re weighing red wine vs. white wine on the basis of their health benefits, you should keep these pointers in mind.

There are plenty of differences between red and white wine. But whether you prefer red or white wine is a matter of personal taste. 

However, always enjoy wine in moderation. If you’re in the mood for some red or white wine and want to have a unique dining experience as well, check out Cork Bar & Restaurant and make a reservation today!