Red To Gold, 6 Different & Colourful Wines To Try Out
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A glass of wine with a good meal transforms it into a festive one, doesn’t it. No matter where in the world you may live, the sign of a classy meal is both good food and the wine that goes with it. Red, white, orange, rose, magenta and gold—you might choose your wine by colour while throwing a party, eating a dinner or simply unwinding after a long day, but do you know how your favourite wine gets its signature colour? 

This may not be something you think about too deeply at all. After all, the colour looks good but does it really matter as much as the depth of flavour and taste of the wine? Well, the fact is that the colour of wine gets added during the winemaking process—which suggests that the colour of the wine is as associated with the taste as it is associated with the flavour of the wine. In fact, the colour of wine says a lot about its age, variety and potential flavour profile. Here’s why. 

The colour of wine is primarily garnered from the pigments and compounds found in the skins of the grapes during the winemaking process.  For example, red wines get their colour from anthocyanin pigments found in the grape skins. During the fermentation process, the pigments come in contact with the grape’s juices, which lets the anthocyanins leach into the wine. The longer the contact between these two, the deeper the colour of the wines. The tannins in the anthocyanins affect the astringent quality of red wines, which adds to the structure and complexity of red wines. 

Wondering exactly how each kind of wine gets its signature colour? Here are all the details you need to know about how these wines are made and how they get their signature colours. 

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1. Red Wine 

Made with dark-coloured grapes, red wines are known for their red colour which is garnered from the skin of the grapes. The anthocyanins in the grape skins, called tannins, contain pigments that seep into the grape juices during the winemaking process. As the wines are fermented and aged in barrels, the pigments affect the wine’s colour even more and help develop the variety of red depending on the kind of grapes used. So, varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, both of which originate in France’s Bordeaux area, have very different colours. 

2. White Wine 

Made with green or yellowish grapes with minimal or no contact between the grape skin and juices, white wines get their colour from the juice rather than the skin. To make white wines, only the grape juice is fermented in stainless steel or oak barrels, which gives the white wines their neutral colour shade. This is how white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Marlborough are made, while the Swiss Riesling gets its citrusy notes from the variety of grape juice used. 

3. Rose Wine 

This unique wine is made by letting red grape skins macerate in white grape juice for a while, which lets the colour of red grapes seep into the white wine base. The exact duration for which the red grape skins are allowed to sit in with the juice determines the colour and flavour profile of the Rose. Provence in France is famed for the palest of Roses, and can be paired with as many global dishes as possible. 

4. Orange Wine 

Also known as Amber wine, orange wine is made by letting the green or yellow grape skins sit with the grape juice for an extended period of time. Unlike with white wine, this difference of process makes the yellowish pigments from the grape skins leach into the wine base. As the wine is then fermented and age, the colour of the wine then turns orange with time. This wine variety was born in the Caucasus region of Europe and then became popular with wine enthusiasts worldwide. 

5. Golden Wine 

Better known as Sparkling wine, these wines get their signature golden hue by inducing a secondary fermentation during the winemaking process which adds both colour and creates bubbles. The basic process, however, is quite similar to that of making white wine. Champagne from France and Prosecco from Veneto Italy are the two most famous regions where the golden wine process was perfected. Now, sparkling wine is made all over the world. 

6. Magenta Wine 

Also known as Fortified wine, the magenta colour in wines like Port and Sherry are derived from the addition of grape spirits added during the fermentation process. It is this additional complexity in the fermentation and ageing processes that turns Port and Sherry not only magenta and almost blackish in colour, but also gives them sweeter and nuttier notes.