Color And The Quality Of White Wines

When it comes to wines there are many characteristics that help you tell which wines are good wines, and which are not so good. Everything in the tasting process, from smell to taste is important, and whether your wine is white, red, or in between, you can tell a lot about the wine and the grapes just by the color.

How Do You Tell The Difference Between White Wines By The Color?

When it comes to coloring in white wines, it’s more to do with the lightness and darkness than the actual color. White wines are of course clear, but each type of white will have different color tones to help you tell them apart. Some wines appear lighter than others and some have colors like yellow, green, browns and oranges. They may also feature a tawny or ochre appearance. This depends on a huge range of things including the type of grapes used, the how young or old the grapes are, what type of barrels were used and a range of other factors to do with the whole winemaking process.

What Do The Colors Mean?

Light Yellow Or Pale Green – Color variations that include light yellow or pale green are usually almost colorless with remarkable clarity but feature a colored overtone to the wine. Generally, these wines will have a light body, be very fresh and youthful. Wines that will most likely feature these colors are Pinot Grigio, Muscadets or Albarino.

Light Gold or Lemon Yellow – The most commonly colored white wines fall into this category, and wines like Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, Chenin Blancs and more all feature yellow overtones. The yellow color usually means the body and maturity are fairly moderate.

Deep Golden – The key to these colors are mature, oaked or highly extracted. They are commonly oak aged a little longer than other wines, and for this, they feature low acidity levels and bolder flavors. Generally, aged Chardonnays, Viogniers or Marsannes fall into this category.

Deep Gold, Browns, Amber Green, and Orange Tones – These wines can be very broad, as they can both be dull or dark depending on the specific process of the winemaker. These can include a range of dessert wines that have been made using dried fruits, however, this type of coloring can also indicate that the wine is past its peak and can show signs of oxidization.

Oxidization and Other Flaws In Wines by Color

If you happen to notice that your bottle of white wine is different to the standard colors it should show, especially if a typically pale colored white wine like a Pinot Grigio has a deep golden or brown coloring, it may mean the wine is old or oxidized. Although some white wines age in the bottle like white burgundy, darker coloring could be the one thing that tells you that the wine has a flaw.

A great way to discover the flavors, textures, and colors of your wine is through a wine tasting session. We offer a range of sessions daily, and our team is on hand to answer any questions you might have when you come into our cellar door. We look forward to meeting you.


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