Red wine is red due to the color of the grape skin. Hues can vary, as grapes range from lighter red to black, but I’ll refer to them all as the grapes that make red wine. The color of the wine comes from the skin of the grape, not the juice. The longer the juice is in contact with the skin, the more color the juice tends to take on.
A red grape can make a white wine if the grape skin is removed from the juice early, but a white grape cannot make a red wine because the grape skin is some shade of white to yellow or yellow gold.
For individual articles on red wine, please check my right-hand sidebar for Categories>WineTypes>Red
There is always an exception, right? White wine can be made red by adding artificial coloring. It has been done, but I doubt you’ll find such plonk on your retailer’s shelf today.
Red wine can be made from fruits other than grapes: plum wine, cherry, blackberry, red currant to name a few.
To be considered a dinner wine, the alcohol level should be about 9% to 17% alcohol, with the median being 11% to 12%.
Fortified wines are wine with “fortification” added (usually brandy) to raise the alcohol level. At one time, Mogen David 20/20 was very high alcohol. Today most of the “bum wines” are gone, and alcohol levels have been lowered to 13% to 15% but these are not satisfactory food wines.
Some grapes are pink. For more information on wines made from pink grapes, click my “Blush-Rosé tab for more.
Good quality red wines are made from the Vitis vinifera species, originating perhaps in the Mediterranean areas, and some are considered a “wild” or “sauvage” version of Vitis vinifera.
Note that most, if not all of the grapes below have differing names in other countries. They also may take on different personalities as they are grown in differing soils and in different climates. As this site develops, I’ll have more on the characteristics of each grape.
In the classic wine world, the most common red wine grapes are:
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