Bottle of Red or a Bottle of White? Explaining the Differences Between Wines

Much like chocolate and vanilla, the type of wine you choose to pour in your glass is most often based on personal preference. While someone might compare the differences between red and white wine to apples and oranges, the two are vastly different and reside on very opposite ends of the spectrum. From ingredients, preparation, and what meal best compliments what’s in your glass, the separating characteristics between the two are prominent.

What's the difference between red and white wine?

The Grapes of Wrath

Wine begins with grapes grown at the vineyard. As one might expect, white wines are from white grapes and red wines are from red. White wines tend to consist of chardonnay and pinot grigio, whereas red wines take the form of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot noir. While both wines are made from grapes, how they’re made is slightly different from one another. The colors don’t come from the different grapes, but rather the skin. White wines are made from grapes that have had their skins removed, whereas the grapes used to make red wines are left unpeeled.

From Processing to Your Palate

Like any alcoholic beverage, wine must go through fermentation. This is the process that converts sugar into alcohol. Yeast is added to pressed grape juice, which is then converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This process can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to complete.

Aged to Perfection

While the process of fermentation is almost identical between wines, the process of which both are aged, or “cellared” is quite different from one another. Many red wines are aged in oak barrels, like the process used in the aging of whiskey. This process can take up to nine months which allows the wood to physically change the structure of the wine inside, making it stronger. White wines are typically aged in stainless steel containers, which helps keep oxygen out of the wine and retains the fruity flavor.

Complimenting Meal Time

While the wine you choose with dinner might be based on taste, some foods pair with wines better than others. Red wine is best served alongside meats such as chicken, steak, lamb, and duck. Red wines are complementary to dishes that are meat-based and also pair well with certain types of pasta. White wine, on the other hand, is exceptional when it’s served alongside pork, salad, and seafood. Some of the recommended dishes include lobster, Caesar salad, crab cakes, and chicken curry.

Whether you opt for a bottle of red or a bottle of white, The Vault Downtown has the finest selection of both. Whether it’s fine dining or wine tasting you’re after, you won’t be disappointed. You can also phone ahead by calling 304-308-6601. We’re located on 401 Federal St in Bluefield. We hope to see you soon.

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