The time to drink a glass of wine involves much more than the simple fact of enjoying a drink. It is an integral experience, a party for the senses. One aspect of wine that is not a minor issue is its color. In this post we present information learn the different the wine color and the reasons for the range of shades.
It is true that taste is one of the aspects that has more importance when it comes to appreciate a wine, however for the complete experience, we must address other variables that are very important. Along with the texture, taste and fragance, information to which we access through taste and smell, is the color, which is not a minor issue even if it seems “at first glance”.
The wine color gives us much more information than we think. The wine color tells us if we are facing a healthy wine or if on the opposite it’s a wine with defects. It is on the other hand an indicator of the age and evolution of our wine. To understand the reason for the wine color we must introduce ourselves to the chemical basis of this phenomenon. The color is largely determined by what is known as phenolic flavonoid compounds such as anthocyanins and flavonols, which are present in the grape.
The flavonols are responsible for the yellow tones of the skin of the white grape, which is why they are directly involved in the yellow hue of white wines. Anthocyanins, on the other hand, are present in the skin of red grapes and are therefore responsible for the violet color of red wines.
With aging, the passage of time will alter the chemistry and therefore the wine will change its tonalities. White wines with the passage of time become darker as they lose flavanols. The red wines on the other hand, with the aging will lose anthocyanins and their bluish reddish color will give way to more brownish tones.
The color of the wine is therefore a witness to the maturation and the complex chemical process, providing us with valuable information at the time of the tasting.
If you want to continue learning about wine chemistry, you may want to know more about tannins.