Ask Sid: Why is a wine called “white” when it isn’t?

April 8th, 2020
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why is it called white wine when it isn't really white color

Question: Ask Sid: Why is white wine called “white” wine when it’s not & neither is the grape?

Answer: True. “White” just developed as a simple broad category of wines to differentiate them from also incorrectly named “Red” for those having more skin contact. Think of the many different shades of red there are too. There are some very light pale coloured wines that can be almost true white – like sauvignon blanc & pinot grigio. However most are some shade of yellow. Some oak treatment may add an even deeper tone. So maybe the category should be called  “Yellow”. Not as good. There are a lot of various shades of pink wine too – from pinot gris on the skins to so many different now popular Roses. Sometimes “Pink” is given a separate category. As are more “Orange” by naturally leaving the seeds and skins in contact with the juice while making a unique white wine. Also there can be green tints in wines like Chablis. There are so many different fascinating colours of the rainbow plus more out there. “White” maybe is the best catch-all encompassing descriptor name after all.

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April 8th, 2020

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