Red wine ranges in colour from purpley-red, through to orangey-red with purple indicating youth, whilst the orangey colour denotes ageing.
Red wines are made from dark coloured grapes only and generally age much better than their white counterparts. Most are consumed when fairly young, but some, particularly old-world wines, have the potential to age in the bottle where it will change colour, with the aromas developing complexity. Its fruit forward nature reduces, revealing more subtle and complex aromas, and the overall texture of the wine is smoothed out, becoming softer, with a longer more lingering finish after swallowing.
Dark grapes are crushed for their juice and, along with their skins are put into ferntation tanks. The alcohol assists in drawing out the colour, flavour and tannins from the grape's skins and the longer the skins remain in contact with the juice, will result in different wines. A Beaujolais wine may be fermented only for a few days or more, whilst top Bordeaux could be longer than two weeks.
The 'free-run' wine is then drawn off and placed into tanks or barrels to age. Some wineries may then use the discardede skins that are then pressed for any remaining juice, thereby drawing off more colour and tannins.
Red Wine Styles:
Almost all are dry (not sweet) and vary from being light-medium bodied eg Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Grenache (Garnacha), through medium-bodied eg, Merlot, Carignan and Cabernet Franc, to full bodied red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah (Shiraz), and Bordeaux Blends.