The first step in tasting white wines is to examine the color of the wine, in other words, its appearance. This visual analysis then reveals valuable information on the origins of the wine, but also on its taste potential. The Château de Berne invites you to discover all the secrets of the color of white wine .
The color of white wine is not just a question of color
When we talk about the color of a white wine, we are of course referring to its color. Indeed, white wines can offer pretty shades of color , ranging from pale yellow to an intense straw yellow color. But the color of a wine is not limited to that, and we can define it according to its brilliance, its viscosity, its limpidity, or even its intensity.
All these qualifiers provide precise information on the characteristics of white wine , its origins, and the winemaking technique used for its production.
The origins of the color of white wine: a transfer of pigments from the grape to its juice
The color of a wine , whether it is a red wine, a rosé wine or a white wine, comes solely from the coloring pigments contained in the grape skins, and not, as many believe, from the grape juice. In fact, grape juice is always white, whether with a black grape variety or a white grape variety.
It is then the anthocyanins, these coloring pigments contained in the grape skin film , which color the juice on contact. The white wines then remain very clear, because the contact between the skin of the white grape and the juice is very short. Conversely, the prolonged maceration time of the must with the juice allows the red wine to take on a pretty red color.
Good to know: we understand here that white wine is not made only from white grapes , and many bottles of white wine are made from black grapes, such as pinot noir. When a sparkling white wine is made with 100% white grape variety, it is called "blanc de vins". Conversely, we speak of “white of blacks”.
White wine vinification technique
To better understand the origin of this pretty yellow color and the multitude of color nuances of white wines, let's focus on the method of making white wine .
The choice of grape variety
We have seen that a white wine can be produced either from red or white grape varieties. But the choice of grape variety also has an influence on the intensity of the color of the white wine. For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon produces more colorful wines than a Pinot Noir grape variety, just as Muscats offer different wine colors depending on the type of grape variety in this large family.
White wine fermentation
We now know that a wine produced from a black grape variety remains white thanks to the absence of maceration. On the other hand, there is a difference in color intensity depending on the type of wine . This is explained by the duration of alcoholic fermentation . The longer it is, the higher the sugar level will be, resulting in a golden yellow color typical of sweet and sweet wines. Conversely, dry white wines remain pale because they contain lower sugar levels.
White wine aging
If aging influences the aromas of a wine, it also has repercussions on its color. In oak barrels, the oxidation of the wine leads to chemical reactions which modify the structure of the white wine . Less marked changes during aging in a concrete or stainless steel tank.
Aging of white wine
A white wine suitable for aging undergoes aromatic modifications, and its color also evolves to give a pretty golden yellow color , sometimes even with orange nuances.
Choosing a bottle of white wine according to its color
White wine bottles are generally made of dark glass, to protect the wine from light. But when it is possible to carry out a visual examination of the color of a white wine , this can guide the choice according to tastes, affinities, and the desired food and wine pairings.
We can then distinguish a multitude of color nuances in the color of white wines : straw yellow, golden yellow, green yellow, pale gold, light amber, green gold... And each of them reveals a few secrets to you:
- Young wines are generally pale;
- An aging white wine takes on orange tones and its yellow color is intense;
- Sweet wines and sweet wines have golden or even amber hues;
- A pale white wine portends a dry wine with nice acidity on the palate.
Our selection of white wines from Provence
Do you want to discover all the subtleties of white wines? We offer you a selection of our best white wines in AOC Côtes-de-Provence .
- White 2020 AOP Côtes de Provence - Inspiration : made from white grape varieties from Provence (Rolle, Sémillon and Ugni-Blanc), this white wine presents beautiful freshness, and fruity and powerful aromas of pear and lemon. A true expression of the Provençal terroir, it works wonders with fish or seafood;
- White 2020 AOP Côtes de Provence - Terres de Berne : made from the same grape varieties as the Inspiration vintage (Rolle, Sémillon and Ugni-Blanc), this white wine from Provence has a pretty pale color with green reflections. These fruity citrus notes make it a wine of choice to accompany seafood products;
- White 2016 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château de Berne Grande Cuvée : one of the estate's organic wines, the Grande Cuvée is an iconic vintage with a beautiful yellow, golden and shiny color. The aromatic complexity of this wine with flavors of milk bread, pineapple, grilled hazelnuts and licorice allows it to enhance noble dishes, such as foie gras, Bresse poultry or turbot.
You now know all the secrets of the color of white wine , and the numerous information it gives about wine. To discover all the richness of the different white wines of Provence, go to the Domaine de Berne, for a tasting of our best bottles.