What Is the Difference Between Red Wine and White Wine?
Every wine connoisseur knows that the differences between red and white wine go far beyond their colors. When we know and understand these more subtle distinctions, we can better appreciate (and enjoy) the liquid in our glasses.
You may have noticed that people often prefer red wine over white, or vice versa. Is one truly better than the other? Here are some of the key differences between white and red wine to help you find your favorite or fall more deeply in love with your preferred wine.
Types of Grapes
The difference in rich flavors and aromas of white and red wines comes from the types of grapes used to make each of these wines. White wines are made of white grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, while red wines are made of red wine grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
Parts of the Grapes Used
Not only do winemakers use different grapes for red and white wines, but they also use different parts of the grapes during the winemaking process. To make red wines red, the grape skins and seeds are included during fermentation. Grape skins and seeds are not used during fermentation for white wines.
Of course, like with almost everything in life, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, some rare wines are made by fermenting white grapes with their skins and seeds. This results in wines called orange wines, which taste similar to red wines and have tannins like red wines.
One of the biggest differences between white wines and red wines is their flavor profiles. White wines are more citrusy and fruity, whereas red wines are richer, fuller, and more associated with berries. These flavor notes are partly achieved because of the methods of winemaking used.
During red winemaking, more oxygen is used so that it loses its floral and fruit flavors and gains more of a nutty flavor. For red wines, winemakers typically use oak barrels to allow the wine to be exposed to more oxygen.
In contrast, white winemakers commonly use stainless steel tanks to ferment white wine. These tanks decrease the wine’s exposure to oxygen, allowing the wine to keep its fruity and floral notes.
If you’re about to sit down for a meal at the end of your day, you may be wondering whether you should have a glass of white or red wine. You may have heard that red wines pair better with one type of food while white wines pair well with another. Perhaps, this is why you want to know the difference between these two wines.
There is no rule about which wine you should pair with your dinner or dessert, but people typically drink white wine with lighter foods, like fish and vegetables, and red wines with hearty meats, such as steak. Whichever pairing you choose, always listen to your taste buds. They will never steer you wrong!
Red wines and white wines each have their own health benefits, making it difficult to say whether one is healthier than the other. White wines are slightly lower in sugar content than red wines, so they are better for those who need or want to lower their sugar intake. Even though they have higher sugar content, red wines are still boasted for their health benefits, such as raising good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol. No matter which wine you prefer, always drink in moderation.
Red Wine vs. White Wine: Which Is Better?
There are several opinions in the “red wine vs. white wine” debate, but we believe neither one is better than the other. The differences in these two wines allow them to shine in their own way. When you want a citrusy wine with your salmon, choose a white wine. When you’re craving a hearty glass of wine at the end of a big meal and as you wind down for the night, sip a glass of red wine.
Experience some of the best local wines at Jonathan Edwards Winery. Host a wine dinner in Connecticut or book your dream wedding in our wedding venue in North Stonington, CT. We have a wide variety of rich red and white wines that you don’t want to miss. For more information, reach out to us today.