Differences Between White, Red and Rosé Wine

With so many different types of Italian wine to choose from on the Xtrawine site, it can often be difficult to select the one that is right for you. This is particularly true for people who don’t drink wine regularly or are just starting to discover the various vintages that are available to them.

While we tend to focus on the specifics of various bottle of wines in our posts, particularly those that focus solely on a single vintage, we also want to extend a welcoming hand to those who are visiting the site for the first time and want to learn more about the basics of wine.

That’s why we have decided to take a look at the differences between red, white and rosé wine. Each offers something a little different to the drinker than the others, so consider all of the following before making a decision.

Red Wine

Red wines are generally considered to be amongst the most complex of wines, often featuring an array of different aromas and flavours that can make them a joy to drink for those who appreciate them, while also making them a tad complex for people who are unsure about wine and have tried to jump into the deep end.

Red wines include the likes of Chianti and Barolo and are often include some of the most famous vintages in the world. They are made predominantly using red grape varieties, though many will use a combination of red and white grapes to create their unique texture and flavours. You will note that most will have an almost ruby red complexion when examined.

Reds are also ideal for consuming alongside meals, particularly those that are rich in flavour. For example, a choice cut of steak will often be so rich that it can overpower a glass of white wine with little effort, whereas a good glass of red wine can complement the richness of the meat and allow you to experience the true joys of drinking wine alongside a meal.

In terms of health concerns, red wine is also the one that is most rich in the antioxidants that are commonly linked to wine’s ability to prevent heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer. As with everything, keeping moderation in mind is important if you want to consume red wine for health reasons, but a glass a day is generally more than enough to start experiencing the health benefits that come with drinking red wine.

In terms of the feeling that you have when drinking a glass of wine, one of the main differences between a red and white wine is the presence of tannins. These provide the dry, almost puckery sensation that you experience when drinking a glass of wine and also play a part in preserving the integrity of the wine. They are one of the main reasons why a bottle of red is generally best experienced after it has undergone a little bit of aging and why the wine will often be preserved a little better after the bottle has been opened when compared to its counterparts.

White Wines

White wines, on the other hand, are often used as an introduction into the world of wine and are often considered more palatable for those who aren’t prepared for the complexity of a good red wine. They will be made using white grape varieties, rather than red, and will generally forgo the complex mix of flavours for something that is a little more refreshing. This means that they are great for complementing simpler foods, such as salads or lighter cheeses, in addition to usually being the wine of choice if you want to enjoy an aperitif after a difficult day at work.

White wines do contain antioxidants, though not to the same level as a glass of red. That means there are still some health benefits to drinking white wine, but they will not be as pronounced as the benefits that you experience when drinking a glass of red.

They will usually range if type from very sweet though to very dry, so what they lack in complexity that make up for in the variety of different white wines that you can enjoy. The best way to determine which your favourites are is to try a few different varieties to find out which your palette prefers and then searching out other white wines that match this. Furthermore, white wine often comes in sparkling format, as is the case with Prosecco ad Champagne, so many people will be aware of them through having consumed such drinks at a special occasion.

Rosé Wines

Rosé falls somewhere in the middle ground between red and white, offering some of the best of both while also missing out on a few of the qualities that you would get when drinking a red or white wine.

They are often pink in colour and are sometimes referred to as pink or blush wines due to their capacity for making the consumer blush when drinking. They are made from the same types of grapes that are used in the production of red wines, but they won’t turn as red due to the fact that the skins of the grapes will be removed just a few hours after making contact with the juice. It is this brief contact that gives Rosé its distinctive pink hue.

In many cases, Rosé wine is made by blending together white and red wines to contain a mix that has some of the complexity of red while still maintaining the refreshing qualities of a bottle of white. Much like white, they will also contain a minimal amount of tannins and thus can’t be aged to the same level as a bottle of red.

Also much like white wines, you will find that they range in flavour from sweet to absolutely bone dry. You should find that many of the best Rosé wines produced in Europe will be very dry, while those produced internationally tend to have a sweeter flavour.


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