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The Beginners' Guide to Wines

The Beginners' Guide to Wines

We know that wine can be a bit intimidating, with all those complex descriptions and terminology. But research shows that wines with more complex descriptions actually taste better. Don’t worry at, we’re here to guide you through your wine journey by discussing the common wine terms you might come across to help you describe and understand your wines better.

What’s the Difference Between Red Wine and White Wine?
A common misconception people have is that red wine comes from red (or purple) grapes while white wine comes from green grapes. Well, have you ever tried peeling a grape? Surprise, surprise – they’re all white inside. See, you can get red wine from green grapes and white wine from red or purple grapes. While it’s true skin does play a factor, it’s not in the way you think.

That Thing Called Tannins
Apart from the skin containing color, the skin also produces tannins, which is a naturally occurring substance that’s often described as bitter. Tannins are developed when the winemaker allows the skins to sit in the grape juice as it ferments. This is also how it gets its color. Wines that have little or no contact with their grape skin end up pink (as in rosé) or white and has far fewer tannins. Wines that are allowed to ferment with their skins for a longer period of time turn a darker shade of red with a higher concentration of tannins.

Red Wine
Tannins give red wine its distinct flavor and color which is why many reds are described as “firm,” “full-bodied,” or even just “bitter.” Tannins also impart texture to a wine, making it feel “smooth,” “soft” “silky” or “delicate” on your tongue. In general, the darker the wine, the higher the tannin content and the stronger or bolder the taste.

White Wine
White wine has tannin, too, though! It’s just not the main characteristic of white wine. Instead, most whites are described based on their acidity. You may here people call a white wine “crisp” or “tart.” On the flipside, you may also hear about a white wine being ‘flat.”

Rosé, sometimes called blush or pink wine, gets its name because of its distinct color. It gets its pretty hue because it only stays in contact with the red grape skins for a relatively short amount of time as compared to red wine. It is closer in color to a white wine than a red and has a relatively low tannin content.

Now you know the difference between the three basic wine types!


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