Red Vs White Wine: Which Should You Be Drinking


Serious question: why choose? Both are equally delicious! Red wine is known for its rich, dark fruity flavors and tannins, while white wine is known for its refreshing, fruity flavor. It's like comparing apples and oranges: both are delicious, and both can be enjoyed at different times. 

To show our support for being fans of both delicious wines, we have outlined what you should know about the two! You're welcome, and more importantly, cheers!

Red Vs. White Wine: What’s The Difference?

Well, the colors, for starters. We're not wrong, but there is obviously more to the difference between red and white wine than that. The real difference between the two is how they are created, and particularly the fermentation process. White wines are made from white or sometimes even black grapes. Then, the juice is separated from the grape's seeds, and skin and only the grape juice is used to make the wine.

In contrast, winemakers create red wine from both black and red grapes instead of white grapes. Plus, the grape skins and seeds are not removed as they are in white wine. Instead, they are kept inside the stainless steel vats with the juice while they ferment. It is the skin and seeds that create the color and richer flavor in red wines. 

Tannins Vs. Acidity

Distinguishing between wine tastes and structural elements is crucial in wine tasting. As a newbie wine drinker in the wine-tasting world, it can be challenging to decipher wine tannins and wine acidity. Plus, there are a variety of different wine characteristics, each with its own spectrum of intensity. In addition to tannins and acidity, these include sweetness, acidity, body, and alcohol content. 

But let's dive into how to distinguish wine tannins from acid, starting with what they are and where they come from. Tannins are chemical compounds; they are molecules of varying sizes and shapes that bind to proteins in your mouth. They also cause an astringent and sometimes even bitter, drying sensation. Tannins are naturally found in many things, such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and wine. Tannins in wine come from the stems, skins, and seeds of grapes. 

This explains why red wine has more noticeable tannins than white wine: red wine has contact with the skins, seeds, and stems of grapes, unlike white wine. However, oak barrels that are sometimes used for aging can also impart tannins into this type of wine. In particular, wines like Syrah and Malbec tend to be pretty tannic. 

Acid is also a compound in wine, but in contrast, it contributes to the freshness and causes salivation. Plus, acids are generally sour rather than bitter. While tannins are found in some wines, acidity is found in all wines from Cabernet Sauvignon to Chardonnay. That said, wines like Champagne and Sauvignon Blanc tend to have higher levels of acidity than other wines. 

Acidity is a structural component that balances sweetness, alcohol, and tannins bitterness. Acidity is a fine line: too much can make a wine seem tart, and too little can make a wine cloying. Well-balanced acidity is the key to a delicious and drinkable wine.  

Tannin and acids add balance and complexity and do their part in making every vintage of wine unique. While they add taste to a bottle of wine, they also have a role in the winemaking process—the more tannins in wine, the better the wine ages. 

Plus, research proves that tannins provide their unique health benefits because resveratrol and polyphenols, present in the tannic skins, seeds, and stems of grapes, are shown to prevent the growth of plaque of blood vessels, lowering the risk for heart disease and blood clots. Some studies even show that red wines may help regulate cholesterol levels. So drinking wine is basically good for your health—go ahead and grab that Bordeaux that you've been eyeing in the name of heart health! 

Wine acidity determines how a wine will feel on our tongue. A wine with more acid feels bright and refreshing. Sweeter and, consequently, less acidic wines feel heavier and fuller-bodied. While there are several different acid types in wine, the most common is tartaric acid. As the name suggests, it is tart, but it also happens to be a powerful antioxidant that helps a wine age. 

As you get into wine more and more, you learn how to differentiate between tannins' taste and sensation versus acidity. While it is quite different for every palate, tannins generally taste bitter and astringent. Tannins give your mouth a dry feeling that's very tannic. Wine acidity may seem similar to tannin, but instead of being bitter, it's sour. These two tastes are sensed at different places on the tongue; bitterness at the back, sourness at the sides. 

Differentiating between tannins and acidity will allow you to realize what kind of wines you enjoy.

Temperature

As it turns out, the temperature places a crucial role in the wine's flavor and aroma. If wine is served at too warm of a temperature, you'll be overwhelmed with a rich, alcoholic taste and bitterness. But if wine is served too cold, you won't be able to fully enjoy your wine's acidity, fruit structure, or sweetness because the cold will overwhelm these elements. Alas! At the right temperature, the wine will shine! You'll fully discover its aroma, body, and flavor as it was intended to be consumed! 

Red wines like Pinot Noir are generally served at a much warmer temperature than you'd serve a white like Pinot Grigio, which may be why people are more likely to drink white wines in the summer. 

Want to know exactly what temperature to serve your wine? Check out the blog we wrote here! 

Food Pairings

Wine and food pairing: it's kind of a big deal. When pairing food and wine, the objective is to enhance your dining experience. Many wine pairings result from the region's cuisine and wine merging due to being produced in the same location. Ever wondered why Italian food often tastes more delicious with Italian wine? Mystery solved. 

There's an overwhelming amount of information available with suggestions on how to pair food and wine. In fact, there are people called sommeliers, whose full-time job at super nice restaurants to tell you what foods you should pair with wine. But just in case you don't have a sommelier at home with you, here are our top three suggestions on food and wine pairings. 

Our first suggestion is to pick a wine you'll want to drink regardless of the food. That way, if you happen to make a kitchen blunder and burn your food, you'll at the very least get to enjoy a delicious glass of wine! That's why we stick to one of our girls, like Bev Gris. If you hate Merlot and love Riesling but are making steak, who cares if wine experts say the two don't taste good together? Pretty sure you'll still have a good time! 

Second, look for a balance. Your wine should have the same flavor intensity as your food. That's why many people suggest pairing a glass of red wine with boldly flavored red meat and whites with fish or chicken, which are lighter intensity. 

Third, identify the most dominant character in the dish, whether it's the sauce, seasoning, or cooking method, and find a wine that matches that. 

It All Comes Down To Personal Taste

What kind of wine you drink is up to you! If you like red wine, drink red wine! If you like white wine, drink white wine! Just keep drinking wines that you enjoy, all you wine lovers out there.