The red color of the wine is thanks to the grape skins which are rich in natural molecules called polyphenols, which in addition to having an antioxidant and cardioprotective quality, they also contain natural dye with the anthocyanins giving wine its ruby red color. With aging, this color tends to become more and more tenuous until it reaches the color garnet, without any loss of its organoleptic properties of course! This is a broad analysis of wine color. It may be that a 10-year old wine still retains its ruby red color, or that a young wine has shed some of its intense color early on. It depends very much on the wine and grape itself. Some grape varieties “discharge” color, such as the Pinot Nero or Nebbiolo, while others present and intense ruby red color in their younger phase of life, such as the Sangiovese or Aglianico. Now for white wines.
We can easily say that the process is the opposite of red wines. While the latter tends to fade in color with time, white wines instead tend to take on an intense yellow coloring, even golden over the years. A young white wine will generally display a straw-like color with yellow and green reflections, almost underlining the “unripe” degree of the grape. Over time, the straw will become golden, assuming a more brilliant surface color. The final coloring of a white wine is almost orange in color, just like a passito wine. This is a typical color of a liqueur as they have generally undergone a long refinement process during vinification.
Rosé wines deserve a mention as well. They are generally the color of claret pink or cherry pink, depending on the degree of color intensity. The claret is the one that presents more full-bodied and intense shades, almost approaching colors of medium structured reds, like the Pinot we mentioned earlier. In rosés, unlike in whites and reds, color is not a parameter to evaluate age! The appearance of these wines is associated only to the degree of permanence of the must with its skins, which gives color to the wine. The longer these two substances remain together, the more the rosé will take on full-bodied and intense tones.
A few wine colors to admire.
The intense ruby red, with pale pomegranate highlights of a Brunello di Montalcino.
The Pale pink with elegant bright fuchsia tones of a Dogajolo Rosato Toscano IGT.