Red wine and white wine are two distinct types of wines that differ primarily in terms of the grape varieties used, the winemaking process, and the flavours they exhibit. Here are some of the main differences between red and white wine

Grape Varieties

Red Wine: Made from dark-coloured grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel.
White Wine: Made from green or yellowish grapes, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. It’s important to note that the colour of the grape skin is not always indicative of the wine’s colour; white wines can be made from red or black grapes if the skins are removed early in the winemaking process

Winemaking Process

Red Wine: The grape skins are left in contact with the juice during fermentation, which extracts colour, tannins, and flavours. This process is called maceration.
White Wine: The grape skins are separated from the juice before fermentation, so there is little to no contact with the skins. This results in a lighter colour and fewer tannins.


Red Wine: Typically ranges from deep purple to light red, depending on the grape variety and aging process.
White Wine: Usually ranges from pale yellow to golden, with variations based on factors like grape variety, age, and oak aging.

Flavour Profile

Red Wine: Tends to have bolder and more complex flavours, with characteristics such as dark fruits, tannins, and sometimes earthy or spicy notes.
White Wine: Generally, has a lighter and crisper taste, featuring flavours like citrus, green apple, pear, and floral notes. Some white wines may also have a buttery or oaky character if they undergo oak aging.


Red Wine: Contains higher levels of tannins, which are compounds that contribute to the wine’s structure and astringency. Tannins are found in the grape skins, seeds, and stems.
White Wine: Typically has lower tannin levels, as the juice is separated from the grape skins before fermentation.

Serving Temperature

Red Wine: Often served at slightly warmer temperatures, typically between 60-68°F (15-20°C), to enhance the expression of flavours and aromas.
White Wine: Usually served chilled, with recommended temperatures ranging from 45-55°F (7-13°C), which helps preserve its freshness.

Aging Potential

Red Wine: Generally, has a longer aging potential due to the presence of tannins, which can help the wine evolve and develop complex flavours over time.
White Wine: Most white wines are best consumed within a few years of production, although some high-quality white wines, especially those with oak aging, can benefit from short to medium-term aging.

These general differences provide a starting point for understanding red and white wines, but it’s essential to explore specific grape varieties, regions, and winemaking techniques to appreciate the full diversity within each category