Our world is blessed with colours from all shades and tones. We can all agree that colour is one of the most valuable aspects in our lives.
Since 2009, The International Colour Association formalized an International Colour Day! Held on 21 March, this annual event promotes colour awareness where members are encouraged to organize exciting and fun community events.
This is a great occasion for us to come back to one of the main characteristics of wine which allows us to anticipate a lot about it even before tasting it: its colour. Although wine may not encompass the entire colour spectrum we can observe these many shades are influenced by certain causes. Much of this is from the heaviness of wine that is dictated by the balance of acidity and tannin.
Here's a quick breakdown of the colours of wines and what they mean! For more info, scroll down to read more and find out which wine tickles your tastebuds!
Light-bodied red wines, tend to have higher acidity and less tannin giving a range from bright magenta to garnet. With a wide palette of red and black fruit aromas (strawberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant), the Nuiton Beaunoy, supple and delicate with fine toasted nuances, is a perfect example of light-bodied wines.
With a wide palette of red and black fruit aromas (strawberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant), the Nuiton Beaunoy gives some fine toasted nuances. A supple and delicate wine, perfect to enjoy with your meal.
Medium-bodied red wine like Merlot or Zindafel have medium levels of acidity and tannin that naturally creates a darker range of red. You can taste and also see the colours from our Footprint - Merlot Pinotage from Western Cape, South Africa.
With a nose of berry fruits with hints of liquorice and spice, this Merlot Pinotage has a round and smooth palate, with red berry and ripe plum flavours. Supple tannins, and well-balanced acidity, with persistent aftertaste.
Full-bodied red wines, like our highly rated Chateau de Lisse wine from Bordeaux, France, have high tannin and less acidity that gives out the darkest range. These wines are highly extracted and opaque. In more extreme cases, Syrah can tinge blue on the rim due to very low levels of acidity!
Be careful with this wine! It will seduce you with its nice balance and an intense aromatic structure. The mouth is round, the tannins molted and the length persistent with fruit notes.
Let's move on to rosé wine!
Rosé wine is paler complexion of red, ranging from pale salmon to magenta. Rosés can be produced in a variety of ways, with the most common method being early pressing of red grape varieties after a very short period, usually 12–24 hours, of skin-contact (maceration). During maceration, anthocyanins and tannins that contribute to colour, are leached from the skins, seeds and any stems left in contact with the must.
This is something you’ll notice from the likes of our favourite Richland - Pink Spritzy Moscato. This is a wine with a refreshing, yet sweet style with strawberry, musk and red cherry flavours.
For white wine, light-bodied wines such as our Castellani Principesco Pinot Grigio from Venezie, Italy, ranges from clear to pale yellow-green. It’s meant to be enjoyed young and extra chilled.
This Pinot Grigio is a straw yellow with reflections of greenish tinges. The notes of peach, apple, and hawthorn harmoniously balances the bouquet. Mildly acidic, this wine is fresh and harmonious on the palate.
Most white wines fall under the Medium-bodied category such as Sauvignon Blanc that has moderate acidity giving them a pale yellow-gold hue. The Georges Michel Sauvignon Blanc, from Marlborough, New Zealand, perfectly represents this, not to forget its award winning taste!
Using grapes selected only from the Rapaura region, this wine showcases tropical fruit aromas of pineapple, passionfruit and grapefruit with subtle herbaceous flavours. The dry, lingering palate springs to life with zingy and zestful characteristics synonymous with the Marlborough region.
While full-bodied white wine, like our Deep Woods "Side by Side" Chardonnay from Margaret River, Australia, have less acidity and use the aging of oak to add creamy vanilla aromas that leave a rich golden tone.
This wine exhibits rich citrus and white stone fruit characters whilst the elegant use of French oak ensures a long and stylish finish.
The colour can also tell us the age and evolution of wine. If wine in a glass is clear and transparent we are looking at a healthy wine. However, if there’s a greater difference between the centre and side of a glass, and if it’s cloudy, with sediment visibility the wine is considered old.
When red wines pass their prime they end up having a dull brown shade, however they last longer meaning that they experience gradual colour change. On the other hand, white wines lose their sheen from light sensitivity making them dull quicker, from yellow to brown.
We hope you’ve learned the essentials that determine wine colour. Now let’s pour a glass from your chosen bottle of wine and let us celebrate the vibrancy of International Colours Day!
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