If you are a wine enthusiast yourself, it would probably be quite easy to choose a wine gift for someone. However, if you aren't knowledgeable about wine basics, it could be very difficult for you to know which type or vintage wine to purchase. This article will cover the basic facts about the differences between the two basic wine types beyond the fact of color.
Red wines tend to be more full-bodied and more complex than most white wines. Red wines are usually made from red and black grape varietals. The fermentation process is a key element to why red wines are more robust and flavorful than white wines.
During the fermentation of red wines, all parts of the grape are left in the squeezed juice including grape stems, seeds and skins. These solids introduce higher amounts of tannins and pigments. As the stems, seeds and skins steep in the juice, they add color and intense flavor to the resulting wines.
There are many varieties of red wines available to choose from. Some of the most popular red wines include Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Any of these wine types would be a welcome gift to wine lover.
White wines, on the other hand, are mostly made from green grapes and result in a lighter, crisper wine. During the fermentation process for white wines, once the juice is extracted from the grapes, the solids are gently strained and removed. The wine created from green grapes is not only lighter in color, it will be less complex in flavor than red wines.
Tannins act as a preventative to oxidation of the wine during aging. They are very important in red wine production due to the longer aging process used. As the wine ages, tannins add more flavor to the wine. This process creates a more robust and flavorful wine. The presence of these tannins creates a sharpness to the wine that mellows with age and is tamed by letting the wine breathe before serving.
White wines also come in a wide assortment of types. The most popular white wine in the United States is Chardonnay. Other good choices would include white Zinfandels or Sauvignon Blanc. White wine makes an excellent gift option that will be welcome by most wine enthusiasts.
When choosing which wine to bring as a hostess gift, you will need to consider what is on the menu. You will want to pair the wine to the food in a complementing manner. By complementing, I mean that it is generally accepted that you serve light wines with lighter foods and robust wines with heavier or spicier foods.
Now that you know the basic differences in red wines versus white wines, you have enough information to make a decision on which wine to use for your wine gift. Both red and white wines come in a wide range of price points so it will be easy to choose a wine gift that suits both the recipient and your pocketbook.