Food - Drink
Why You Should Pay Closer Attention To The Color Of Red Wine
Red wines are available in many hues; if you take a look at Pinot Noir, Syrah, Nebbiolo, or an aged Sangiovese, you'll see that they all vary in color. The pigment of a red wine can give drinkers clues about the style, age, and flavor; this is how wines end up with their own colors, and which aspect of the color you should really pay attention to.
As Food & Wine explains, red wine is created by macerating the juice of red grapes with their skins. Depending on how long the skins remain in contact with the vino, the wine will end up with a different color, and shades can range from ruby, purple, garnet, tawny, or a near-black onyx; however, a deeper color doesn't always mean more intensity.
A wine's character depends on whether it was macerated with thin or thick-skinned grapes, where the fruit was grown, and how the wine was produced and aged. The color of a wine can hint at its character, but rather than the opacity or darkness of the color, what you should really pay attention to is vibrancy, especially with older bottles.
Wine Folly explains that as red wines age, their pigment diminishes, which can result in a brickish-brown shade and may indicate premature aging. If your wine starts to look desaturated and dull, drink it soon, and remember that while color can tell you about drinkability, most commercially available wines have a lifespan of about five years.