Color Me Red – How Wine Gets it’s Colors

A World of Red Wine ColorThe Color Red and Wine

Color! So many different colors of red wine are out there for you to choose from. But have you ever wondered why different varietals vary so much? Simply put, red wine is produced from a variety of red (or black) grapes. The color is determined by the grape and it’s skin.

There are a multitude of grape types, each as diverse and colorful as the next. The color of grapes range from purple, to maroon, to deep red, to light red — and the list goes on. Each variety brings a unique shade of red to the wine, and the various colors you can see in wine stores are a direct result of the many grapes used in worldwide wine-making processes. An individual wine’s color depends not only on what type of grape was used to make it, but also how long the skin was left in with the juice before being extracted.

The Color Makes a Type

There are many different types of red wine, but their “body usually judges them.” For example, a light-bodied wine is not too demanding on the mouth and taste buds. It goes well with food that is flavor intensive. You can find many delicious examples of these types of wine at every one of the stops along the Verde Valley Wine Trail.


This red wine tastes rather like black cherries or plums. It goes well with pasta dishes served with red sauce, lamb or prime rib. Merlot is a bit softer and smoother fruitier wine of medium body. Black cherry, plums, and herbal tones are prevalent in Merlot which pairs well with a wide variety of foods.

Cabernet Sauvignon:

Commonly referred to as the king of red wines. This red wine tastes like black current or chocolate. It goes well with beef dishes, such as stroganoff or steak, or with pasta with red meat sauces, and also with duck or salmon.

Pinot Noir:

Considered a light to be medium-bodied wine, generally with fruity aromas and can be described as refreshing. This red wine has a raspberry, cherry or strawberry taste on your palate. It goes well with pork, turkey and soft cheeses such as Brie or Camembert.

Syrah (or Shiraz):

A bold somewhat spicy wine with a medium to full body. This can be considered a bold wine that pairs well with red meat and intense flavors. These wines taste like blackberry or licorice. They go well with tenderloins, onion soup, or BBQ ribs and roasts.


First produced in France, there are now some excellent varieties coming from Argentina and Chile today. Malbec is probably my current favorite red wine. It is smooth, dark in color with peppery undertones, berries and plum flavors are also prevalent.


This wine is available in both white and red varieties. The red type is classified as a full-bodied wine with high tannin and alcohol content. The red variety is known for its rich color and zesty berry and peppery flavor.

The Verde Valley Wine Trail provides you a fun way to experience all of the varietals Arizona based red wines offer you!

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Happy Wine Tastings!