Difference between Red and White Wine

There are so many sorts of wine that perhaps every wine drinker could find something special to taste. Nevertheless, every wine drinker has their own preferences. Which wine is best? And what are the main differences between red and white wine?


Red wine vs White wine
Red wine

Red wine is a kind of wine produced from dark-colored grapes. Its color may vary in its intensity depending on maturity and age.

White wine
White wine

White wine is a type of wine with a light yellow color which may vary from straw-yellow to yellow-green to yellow-gold. White wine is produced from the non-colored pulp of white or purple grapes.

Comparison chart

Red wine White wine
Its production involves extraction of color and flavor components from the grape skin Produced by alcoholic fermentation of the non-colored grape pulp to keep the color light
Goes well with meat or cheese, or dishes with a rich taste and aroma Served as an Apéritif during the meal, goes well with dessert, or can be a refreshing drink between meals
Contains a lot of antioxidants Contains less antioxidants

Red wine vs White wine

What is the difference between red and white wine?

Let’s start with simple differences. The first one is color. Color is created by tannins that can be found both in grape seeds and skins. If red grapes have more tannins, no wonder the wine’s color is darker and more saturated. A lower tannin ratio in white grapes makes their color (as well as the color of white wine) lighter. As tannins can be found in skin and seeds in white wine production it is very important to press grapes really quickly to get transparent juice. Red grape juice production for making wine usually takes longer – the juice should acquire more tannins as they provide it with a dark red color, a special texture and a deeper taste.

Tannins are natural antioxidants; there are plenty of them in tea and maybe it is tannins that make tea so beneficial to our health. And that is the reason why having a glass of red wine every day is considered to be a healthy thing to do.

There is an interesting fact about red grapes: they can be used both for red and white wine (usually a sparkling one) while white grapes can’t turn into red wine – that is chemically impossible. Therefore it becomes clear that white wine can be produced from both types of grapes, while red wine is more “picky” in this regard. Actually there are not so many sorts of red grapes that make really dark-colored juice; such sorts are called a nice French word, “teinturier”.

Apart from color there are lots of differences between red and white wine. For example, red wines need to be kept in the winery for a couple of months before bottling; this process is called maturation, while the major part of white wines doesn’t need to. By the way, it is also about the amount of tannins, when it comes to wine maturation. The time required for this process basically depends on the particular sort of wine. Lighter types with fruity accents need about half a year, whereas the maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, takes a year before bottling.

Light yellow, fresher white wines can be bottled quickly – usually it is done so to preserve their freshness and light taste. As a rule white wine has a light and fruity taste, but there are some types with more prominent flavor characteristics.

Both red and white wine can be dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet. In depends on grape varieties. The taste of red wines is considered to be richer, more robust and more complex than that of white wines.

Either red or white wine can be a great addition to your meal. Actually there are some recommendations on how to match wines and dishes, but they are not obligatory, just to be used as guidelines. Due to its complex taste red wine tastes really good with something of a rich flavor and aroma, like steaks. White wines, on the contrary, would be excellent for dishes made of chicken or fish. Sweet or semi-sweet white wine is recommended for desserts.

But the most important factor is your personal preferences; you should enjoy the match of your wine and meal, so take the guidelines into account, but don’t be afraid to enjoy some new combinations!

When it comes to health benefits – it should be mentioned that both white and red wines are pretty good for our health. The fermentation process changes the basic nutritional values of grapes and adds some new qualities. For example, both red and white wine are known to offer heart health benefits and help to prevent lung diseases.

Red wine has even more to contribute to your health as it contains more antioxidants in comparison to white wines, and it is the antioxidants (including flavonoids) in grape skin which are so valuable in the process of making red wine. This type of wine is very good for blood vessel health and a small glass of red wine every day is recommended to people who have a higher risk of blood clots. Red wine has been proved to fight against enzymes that contribute to the development of cancer cells.


More information on different qualities of red and white wine is available here.