Wine Color Classifications

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Wine grapes are essentially divided into 2 basic types white and red. This does not indicate either the actual color of the grapes or the wine produced by the grapes. It is simply 1 method of classification of grapes. In turn, the wine is divided into what are termed “styles”. These are white red and Rosé.


White Wine is not white. If you look closely at the wine, you will see it is yellow, golden or very pale in color. White wine is simply a term used to designate wine that is lacking red or pink coloring. In other words, white wine is wine that is not red, pink, rosé or related colors.

White wine can be made from white grapes. White grapes are not white. They are green, greenish-yellow, golden yellow or sometimes a pinkish-yellowish. Like the white wine they produce, a white grape is a grape that is not something else. A white grape is one that is not dark red, bluish or bluish-blackish.

A vintner can also make white wine from the juice of red (black) grapes. This is possible because the juice of the red or black grapes lacks pigmentation. This process, however, is rare. An exception is in the making of Champagne.

White wines are frequently used as aperitifs. They arrive at the table before dinner. They may replace a cocktail. White wine is also common at parties and in bars. Some people enjoy the taste of white wine on a hot day. Serve white wine cool but not cold.

Try: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Muscadet, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon



Red Wine is red in color. It may also be purplish-red, pale red, ruby red or a variety of red and pink colors. The source is the red or bluish grape. Perversely, the grapes are called “black.” All red wines come from black grapes.

Red wines tend to be more complex in taste. They also provide a greater variety in the style they afford. Red wines may be full-bodied. They can also be medium or light-bodied.

Red wines are not usually a self-standing drink. They regularly comprise part of a meal. Do not confuse them with Rosé or “blush” wines.

Try: Beaujolais, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel.



Rosé or Blush Wines are made with black grapes. They are not, however, Red Wines. Blush wines are actually white wines. They are noted for their sweet and sometime even cloying taste.

Rosés are right for drinking alone, as an aperitif and with meals. In some ways, this type of wine is a general-purpose drink. You need to chill all Rosés before drinking. Do not expect them to last or age.

Try: Pink Merlot, White Zin