WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RED WINE AND WHITE WINE
Do you know the difference between red wine and white wine? If not, then this is a blog post for you! We’ll go over everything from the color of each wine to its taste. We are all familiar with the debates on red wine vs. white wine, but it seems that many people don’t know which is healthier for them.
Have you ever wondered the difference between red wine vs white wine? Well then, it’s time to find out. It may seem like they are both just drinks, but there is actually a significant difference in their taste and color.
The short version of this question is: 1) white wines have less pigment -related molecules (such as tannin) than red wines; 2) white wines ferment with the grape skins longer and thus end up higher in flavanols; 3) red wines usually undergo oenological treatments (e.g. the ” stabilization process “) that remove some of these chemicals, which makes red wine vs white wine a bit more complicated than it first appears.
THE HISTORY OF RED WINE VS WHITE WINE
The debate of red wine and white wine has been around for thousands of years. There are many different stories that have come out of the battle between these two elegant beverages, but let’s start with how it all started. The first recorded alcoholic beverage was actually beer made in ancient Mesopotamia about 3400 BC.
However, this consumption declined as people moved towards wine in the 2nd millennium BC. Supposedly, the Egyptians discovered wild grapevines growing along the Nile River and used them to make their own form of wine called Raisins which were then stored in clay pots. In 591 BC, the Persians conquered Egypt during a time where they introduced grapes to Greece.
Later on, around 440 AD, the Romans conquered the Greeks which allowed them to learn more about wine and how to make it into a better drink. The Romans discovered that aging wine made it more enjoyable and what we now call white wine was actually a byproduct of the grape leaving during the fermentation process, giving us red wines.
Different regions throughout time have used different techniques to produce their own variation of both the red and white varieties, from adding chocolate to white wine or using pigeon excrement as manure. Although there are many differences between these two beverages, let’s see how they differ on a biological level so we can truly understand which one is superior.
THE SCIENCE OF RED WINE VS WHITE WINE
According to Vinepair.com, there are about 3 billion people in the world who drink alcohol with most women drinking wine while men consume beer. However, there seems to be a more significant difference in the amount of alcohol consumed between men and women.
For example, American women drink about 1/2 less than men while European women drink up to 60% less. This has been proven to have a large effect on the heart rate since higher amounts of alcohol cause rapid changes in the blood pressure and heart rate which can lead to high blood pressure if ingested regularly.
THE STRUCTURE OF RED WINE VS WHITE WINE
Red wine gets its color from the anthocyanin pigments that are found in the skins, stems, and seeds of grapes. The red pigment known as procyanidins help retain this color throughout fermentation while tannins provide astringency.
White wines on the other hand contain very little coloring agents. In fact, Hinderliter (2013) states that white wines have actually lost their color completely because during the production process it has been filtered through oak charcoals which take out all traces of hue.
This is proven by the fact that white wine has a higher alcohol percentage than red wine at around 14-15% compared to only 12% in red wines. The exact reason for this is not known, but it can be attributed to the production process and taste of those enjoying it.
THE DIFFERENCES IN TASTE AND COLOR OF RED WINE VS WHITE WINES
The differences in taste and color of red wine vs white wines are due to the presence of anthocyanins and tannins respectively. Although there are varying theories on which is better, they both have something unique to offer that can please anyone’s taste buds.
Keeping in mind that the two beverages are created by different processes and manipulated to have their own unique flavors, there are actually many similarities between them.
In terms of taste, they both need to be served at a temperature above 60 degrees since these subtle nuances come out when it is warmed up slightly (Hinderliter 2013). Red wines tend to have more tannins which can cause an astringent effect on your tongue; especially when chilled. For this reason, red wines are better served warmer than cold.
On the other hand, white wines do not contain as much antocyanin pigment and are usually smoother due to their higher acidity levels while being served colder than a red wine. However, oak aging has been proven to significantly decrease the levels of acidity in white wines and increase the level of tannin.
White wines have been known to be more fruity or floral while reds are characterized as being earthy with a black cherry aftertaste (Hinderliter 2013). This is most likely due to the fact that white wine has less tannins which prevents it from “dulling” the flavor profile while red wine contains more.
What makes white wine taste tarter than red is its sugar content. The lack of color in white wine can lead to an impression that it lacks flavor, but this is not always the case. White wines have a range of flavors, from dry crisp apple varieties to some with notes of tropical fruits like pineapple and banana.
White wine also comes in a hoard of colors, including yellow and rose colored. This has to do with the process used when fermenting grapes into juice or alcohol. White wine is made by allowing the skins of certain types of grape varieties to be exposed to air during pressing while they are still attached to their seeds (this allows for maximum amount of color within the juice).
While most of the colors are not that noticeable once the juice is bottled, there are some exceptions. For example, white wines made from Carmenere grapes have a pinkish hue in their skin which affects the color of wine.
WHICH TYPE HAS MORE ANTIOXIDANTS – RED OR WHITE WINES?
The type of grapes used to produce red or white wine determine the color of a wine. The skin of red grapes contains more antioxidants than that of most white wines, which explains why red wines are often associated with better health benefits.
Despite this fact, research has shown that there is no significant difference in antioxidant activity between these two types. In fact, other factors such as preparation techniques and processing methods can affect the antioxidant content of any given wine regardless of its color.
Since the red-wine component resveratrol is found in white wine, does that mean it has less antioxidant activity? No. Resveratrol has antioxidant properties even though it is not a phenol. In addition, white wines contain other antioxidants called flavonoids which have also been associated with health benefits – mainly acting as anti-inflammatories.
In fact, recent studies have shown that flavonoids in wine are responsible for the majority of its antioxidant activity.
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD AND BAD BOTTLE OF RED OR WHITE WINE
If you’ve ever wondered how to tell the difference between a good and bad bottle of red or white, then this is for you. A wine expert has revealed a simple trick that will impress your dinner party guests (and look like you are smooth some sort of mystery wine-taster).
All the method involves doing is ‘nosing’ – sniffing at – the cork after twisting it to see if there is any sign of wine on it, which would obviously be a pretty bad sign. You can also smell the neck of the bottle too.
The nose knows: Wine expert reveals simple way to judge whether a bottle is good quality or bad in just two seconds with these tips for both red and white wines.
1. For White Wines
For white wines, he says that you should check the cork for any particles and also smell the neck of the bottle. He states that if it smells ‘moldy’ then the wine is not good, as this means there has been some kind of contamination during its production.
As well as checking out your white wine brand in these two ways, Mr Roumier says you should also take a sip from anywhere inside the mouth. This will allow you to taste all aspects of a wine’s flavor – how sweet or sour it is – and overall assess whether it tastes like vinegar which is always a bad sign (It is technically called ‘acetification’ which happens when a bottle has been left open to oxidation, which can happen if it is not stored in the correct conditions.)
As with white wines, he also says that if it has an unpleasant smell, like vinegar, then don’t drink it. He suggests pouring away any suspect liquid in this instance too.
2. For Red Wines
On red wine brands, Mr Roumier says that you should again check the cork for any particles and also smell the neck. He recommends wiping your finger across it as this will allow you to detect whether there have been any glass particles mixed up with the liquid. If there are, then he advises pouring away a small amount of wine into another cup before drinking. This way you don’t run the risk of cutting yourself on an unsafe piece of glass.
He states: ‘Red wines usually show less smell than whites due to its thicker skin but try to focus on the basic smell. If red wine smells moldy or musty then it’s a sign of microbial contamination, which is not good.’
He also recommends that you should open and try a little bit of wine – just around two ounces – to assess its overall taste as well as aroma.
Mr Roumier states: ‘There’s no denying the fact that smelling out a bad bottle of wine is more difficult than telling if it’s good quality but with these tips and tricks you’ll be able to tell whether your next bottle will be a winner or a dud in just two seconds.’
WHAT ARE SOME POPULAR WINES IN EACH CATEGORY THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
1. Red Wines
Probably the most popular red wine in Australia, but also used to make some pretty decent wines from France. Shiraz has a pretty rich flavor and tends to be quite strong in character. It is usually around 14-17% alcohol by volume (ABV).
Considered as one of the finer reds and is usually quite smooth, however it does tend to be a little thinner than Cabernet Sauvignon for example and can have an aftertaste that some may not prefer. Merlot typically has lower alcohol 16-18% ABV.
1.3. Cabernet Sauvignon
Has stronger tannins than Merlot, which makes it a bit more robust and complex. They can be very aromatic, with hints of blueberry or other fruits. Alcohol content is typically higher too, around 14-16% ABV.
A blend of different grapes that are popular in the region including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec & Petit Verdot. It has an elegant flavor but may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its stronger taste.
1.5. Pinot Noir
Has a lighter style than most red wines and tends to have earthy flavors as well as being strong in tannins (red wine usually has higher levels of tannins than white). Pinots are also quite fruitier plus tend to lean towards lighter reds which makes them quite easy to drink. They are typically lower in alcohol at around 13-15% ABV.
2. White Wines
2.1. Sauvignon Blanc
Has similar characteristics as Pinot Noir due to the grapes it is made from (most commonly found in Bordeaux, New Zealand and California). It was a favorite of The Beatles apparently, but Kiwis claim it was invented here! It has an elegant flavor and can be quite grassy or herbaceous with hints of citrus and gooseberry. Typically, lower in alcohol between 12-14%.
Biggest selling white wine worldwide, it tends to be dryer than Sauvignon Blanc with less acidity but more aromatic. It can also be quite buttery, and a lot of people find it really easy to drink. Alcohol content is typically around 13-14% ABV.
One for those who like their whites sweeter, Muscats tend to be higher in sugar but have floral flavors and are often used as a dessert wine or a late-night treat (since they are lower alcohol).
A German powerhouse, Rieslings usually pack a punch with big fruity flavors that make them ideal summer treats. They may be high in acid but the sweetness offsets this making them very light and easy to drink – only 10-12% ABV!
WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO ORDER A GLASS OF RED OR WHITE WINE AT RESTAURANTS?
The general rule is that you order red wine with red meat, white wine with fish, poultry and seafood. But there are exceptions — if the dish is tomato based or has a strong sauce (such as Béarnaise or hollandaise) then it can be paired with either a red or white wine.
You may also find that some cooks prefer to use medium-bodied whites such as muscadet or sauvignon blanc in place of a buttery chardonnay for sauces, so experiment!
The key is to be as adventurous in the glass of wine you drink as you would be with your food!
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ALCOHOL BEVERAGES, SUCH AS CHAMPAGNE AND BEER, THAT ARE ALTERNATIVES FOR THOSE WHO DON’T LIKE EITHER TYPE OF WINE
The wine industry is a very large and fast-growing business. In the United States alone, the alcohol beverage market has grown from $79 Billion in 2010 to $108.3 Billion in 2015, with no signs of slowing down. This growth is largely due to an increasing preference for alcoholic beverages that are considered ‘gourmet’, such as champagne, beer and cider alongside red and white wines.
However, many people still don’t enjoy any alcoholic beverage at all; yet there are several other types of alcohol beverages on the market that may appeal to those who don’t like either wine or beer. Let’s find out more about these different types of drinks:
The definition of champagne is simply, “a sparkling wine made from white grapes in the Champagne region of France” and it is often used as an alternative for those who don’t like either wine or beer. However, in order to be considered champagne, the wine must undergo 10 months of maturation in bottles before it is ready for consumption.
This process includes an initial fermentation period and a secondary alcoholic or malolactic fermentation period. After this time period has elapsed, the wine is then blended with reserve wines to create additional complexity of taste. All in all, champagne ages for a minimum of 15 months before it is ready for sale, although the typical aging period lasts at least 18 months.
Beer is another beverage that is often used by those who don’t like wine or beer as an alternate alcohol choice to drink with their meals due to its versatility and unique flavor. In fact, the world’s most popular beer brand is Budweiser which had 18% of the market total share. In addition to this, there are many different types and brands of beer that are available for purchase on a daily basis.
Unlike wine and champagne, however, beer uses a very simple process in order to mature correctly. Beer is made by fermentation of starches that are derived from barley, which uses yeast to create carbon dioxide and ethanol as well as the additional flavor compounds found in beer. In addition to this, many different types of beers use different ingredients such as hops and fruits to add an extra dimension of flavor.
The time period that is required for brewing beer has been greatly reduced over the past few decades and is now a very quick process that only requires less than two weeks. In fact, some brands of beer can be purchased in cans in grocery stores after only three days, which is considerably quicker than most other types of alcoholic beverages.
Cider, also known as cyder or cider apple juice is a fermented alcoholic beverage that contains at least 4% alcohol by volume. Similar to beer, it uses barley for fermentation; however, it is not considered beer because the barley must be malted in order to create the enzymes necessary for brewing. In addition, cider doesn’t use hops to flavor the beverage because they are not present in apples.
Cider is made from a cider making machine that uses the apple juice to create alcohol through fermentation, however this process is very different than brewing beer. Cider making machines do not use yeast and instead of being dried by hot air or water as they would be with beer, the apples are left to age in a machine until they are mature enough for consumption.
Cider is typically considered to be a seasonal beverage that is only created from September through January. Furthermore, most ciders that are sold on the market today have 5% alcohol content or less; however, this may vary based on the brand and the ingredients that are used. Ciders that fall under this category will have a specific alcohol content printed on the label, so you know exactly how much alcohol is in each serving.
4. Specialty Alcoholic Beverages
Specialty alcoholic beverages are those types of drinks that offer different types of production processes from the ones mentioned above; however, they are not considered beer, wine or cider. Specialty alcoholic beverages include drinks such as mead, sake and miruvor which are available in many different varieties depending on their specific ingredients and production process.
Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage that contains between 3% or 6% alcohol by volume; however, the exact alcohol content will depend on the brand. This beverage is commonly produced using different ingredients and processes; however, this will also vary from brand to brand. Some types of mead may be made with honey, sugar or apples, while others can incorporate a variety of fruits and spices as well.
Sake is a type of rice wine that originates from Japan and has a measurement of alcohol content that ranges between 16% or 18%. In order to create this beverage, the rice must be polished, so it is free from starch and then fermented with koji mold in order to separate the starch from protein.
Then water is added in order for fermentation to occur, however this is somewhat unusual in comparison to how other types of beverages are created because the rice must be fermented with the mold before water is added.
Miruvor is a beverage that originates from Tolkien’s novels set within Middle Earth and is also known as cordial or elven wine. This type of alcohol has an alcohol content between 15% and 20% even though it isn’t typically considered a wine; however, the exact alcohol content will depend on the brand.
In order to create miruvor, juice from grapes is left after pressing, and then must sit for a minimum of three years before fermentation can occur. Miruvor must also sit in oak barrels for at least three years and then distilled in order to draw out the cordial; however, it will be aged for an additional five or more years.
Breweries are facilities that are used primarily to create, manufacture and store beer; however, they can also be used to make other alcoholic beverages as well. While most people focus on beer when they think about breweries, many of them are actually used to create wine, cider and specialty alcoholic beverages as well.
These facilities tend to have a wide variety of production equipment available for use in the manufacturing process because they vary based on the specific process that will be used for each beverage.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHICH ONE IS BETTER – RED WINE VS WHITE WINE
You may be wondering which one is best. There are pros and cons to both red wine and white wine, but the answer will depend on your personal preference. If you want a more flavorful drink with higher alcohol content that has been shown to improve brain function in small doses, go for red wine.
On the other hand, if you prefer a milder taste with less of an effect on cognition as well as lower calories per glass than its counterpart, then try out some white wines next time you’re at the store or order it from a restaurant menu instead!