Red Wine, White Wine, Rosé: What’s the Difference?
Other than the colour, the fundamental difference lays on how these are made, however, all are comprised of tannins, acidity, glycerine and alcohol, at varying levels.
White wine can be made from white grapes or red grapes. If a white wine it is made from red grapes, it is processed/ fermented without the red skins which normally add colour to the red wine. Wines made with white grapes include Pinot Griggio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Moscato, Semillom and Riesling. It has tannin, but not overpowering . Instead, white wines are characterised by acidity. That’s why a white wine is described as “crisp” or “tart.” Or, if there isn’t enough acidity, you might call a white wine “flabby” or “flat.”
Picture: Arco Zanini Range is a wine from Veneto, exclusive for prestigeitalianwines.co.uk
Rosé, or blush wine, is pink in colour. It gets that way because it is allowed to stay in contact with the red grape skins for relatively short time compared to red wine in the fermentation process. On the spectrum between red and white, rosé is much closer to the light side, with relatively low tannin. Common types of Rosé are Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio (blush), Sangiovese.
Red Wine is obviously qualified by its colour and usually rich in tannin which is achieved by the having the grape skin fermented with the must through its full fermentation period. You might describe a red wine as “firm” or “leathery” or just plain “bitter.” Presence of tannin gives red wine texture, making it feel “smooth” and “soft” or “rough” and “chewy.” In general, the darker the wine, the higher the tannin and the “bolder” the taste. Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Barbera, Sangiovese, and Barolo are common types of red wine.
What are Tannins then?
Tannins are a naturally occurring substance in grapes and other fruits and plants. The taste of tannin is often described as bitter, causing a dry and puckery feeling in the mouth. Have you ever had a new fruit or vegetable that after eating, it feels that your tongue sticks to the walls of your mouth? Well that fruit or vegetable is rich in tannin.