What’s the Difference Between Red and White Wine?

Everyone has their go-to drink. Some people prefer vodka for being smooth and creamy, others like rum for its sweetness and distinctive flavor. What we’ve found among our customers is that a lot of people like wine, or really love it. There are a lot of reasons to love wine. On the most basic level, wine is a drink that actually quenches your thirst, improves your appetite before a meal, and enhances or complements the flavor of more than one food. But unlike other alcoholic drinks, wine has a wide variety, and some of the two most popular types are red and white wine.

We serve more red and white wines than we know what to do with, but they always keep our guests happy. After serving wine long enough, we noticed that people tend to favor one or the other for a specific reason.

What is Red Wine?

Red wine is a type of wine that comes from fermenting dark-colored grapes. Specifically, a winemaker will press grape juice to macerate and ferment the dark-colored grapes, a practice
that’s not used for other wines.

Like our Pinot Noir, red wines have this deep and dark color to them to match the grapes they come from. They range from dark purples to pale reds and many more colors in between.

What is White Wine?

Fermented without skin contact, the skin of the grapes does not affect the wine in taste or color like with red wines. Specifically, it’s made by the alcoholic fermentation of non-colored grape pulp. Already, there’s a difference in how the two are made, not just in how they look.

For added benefit, white wine has a higher acidity and aroma that help it soften meat and deglaze cooking juices. This means you’ll see white wine used in cooking, in a way you won’t see with red wine.

Is There a Difference in Taste?

In a word, yes, red wine and white wine taste different. The way they’re both made has led to white wine having a wide range of tastes, with many different kinds in itself. Not every red wine tastes the same either, but they’re more similar than white wines. If you were to try our Rucchino Prosecco and La Spinetta Rose, the two white wines would be refreshing, and lighter on the tongue than any red wine, but they would not be the same by any means. White wines tend to have a fruity flavor, making them easy to distinguish by the fruit they’re aiming to replicate, but distinct from red wines.

Red wines are known to be bitter, with a taste that makes your lips pucker. At the same time, this means someone might taste a closer similarity between red wines on our list like Faustino Tempranillo and Ciacci Piccolomini Fabivs than they would between two white wines. This is by no means a bad thing. If you like red wine, this makes it easier to try something new because it tastes similar to something you’ve already tasted before. Not everyone has a varied taste bud.

What Does Red Wine Have that White Doesn’t?

Red wine and white wine are made so differently that they pair well with different foods and contain different nutrients. For example, red wines amplify the taste of beef, pork, chocolate, and cheeses far better than white wine for most people. This could be because of things like tannins, a plant compound that binds to proteins and amino acids. White wine doesn’t have as much because the skin of the grape is removed when making it.

These tannins are considered a “textual component” that dry the mouth and prepare the wine for the food it’s paired with. That’s why the foods red wine tastes best with are drier meats and foods like beef and chocolate.

What Does White Wine Have that Red Doesn’t?

What white wine lacks in tannins, it makes up for in sugar. Its fruity taste has to come from somewhere, specifically, sugars called phenolics. The simpler phenolics help white pair with juicy foods like fish, poultry, pork, and fruits. White wines amplify and mix with the juicy and fruity tastes inside some foods.

Taste the Difference for Yourself at Rikasa Restaurant

A lot of people have preferences for what wine they drink, but if you need someplace with a variety of wines, red and white to figure out yours, Rikasa has an extensive white list. We’ll help you find the perfect glass to pair with the perfect dish. Make a reservation, your tastebuds will thank you.