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Wine - Types & Styles

The Difference between Red and White wines

Apart from the obvious fact that white wines come from white grapes and red wines from red grapes, it need not be so. It is an interesting fact to know that white wines are made by pressing the grapes to extract the juice and are not left in contact with the skins of the grape. On the other hand, if the same process was followed with red grapes, they too would be “white” in colour, or at best light pink. It is because the juice from the red grapes is left in contact with the skins, that it picks up the deep red colour that we see. The longer the contact the more the colour is extracted into the wine. Both wine styles are made using the same basic process of fermentation, however winemakers have many skilled techniques they use to define their particular wine. It is fair to say one of the the main differences in winemaking between red and white wines is the practice of aging red wine in oak barrels whereas this is not nearly as common with white wines.

Wine Types and Styles

There are many different types of grape varieties and just as many wine styles, Sauterne, Port, Sherry, Cava, Chianti, Champagne, Rioja and so on, but too many to realistically cover in a small article such as this, so here are some of the more commonly encountered varieties. Those who wish to know more will be able to discover a world of literature dedicated specifically to these subjects. World renowned authors such as Jancis Robertson, publish very readable material that does not get too bogged down in the specifics. I can recommend her “wine tasting handbook” published by Conran Octopus Limited in Great Britain, as a good all round start to wine, from varieties to how to develop your palate.


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