Kaylin's Tip of the Day -
Check the Color:
Many red wines start life as a deep purple color, sometimes almost opaque. With time, however, the wines lose this youthful intensity, and begin to take on a paler, tawny, brick red hue. Initially this appears at the rim of the wine, but as the years go by the whole wine will take on this color, fading to a brick red or brown. The color of a red wine may give a clue not only to the age of the wine, however, but also to the grapes which have been used. This is because different grapes produce wines of differing intensities of color. Pinot Noir tends to be pale, for instance, whereas many other red grapes, particularly in their youth, would be expected to be an inky purple-black.
Similar information may be gathered from inspecting a white wine, although the pattern of color change as a white wine ages is different. A good example is Sauternes, the famous dessert wine of Bordeaux. This wine starts off a lemon gold color, but unlike a red wine, which becomes paler as it ages, this wine deepens, turning a rich, golden amber. This color change is gradual, occurring over many decades. As with red wines, the color of a white wine will also give some clue as to the grapes used, and also from where the wine originates. Cool climate wines tend to be less richly colored, hence Burgundian Chardonnay will be paler than an Australian example. Certain grapes have an almost characteristic hue, such as the green tinge of Riesling. (More tomorrow!)