Tired of red, white and rosé? Discover the whole rainbow of wines!
World Best Bar
May 09, 2020
10 January 2019
There are near countless different varieties of grapes, vineyards, appellations and terroirs – we know this and we try our very best to keep up – but what’s less commonly known is that there are more than just the trusty red, white and pink colours of wine out there.
In light of the public’s increasing interest in different wines and desire to try things a little further afield, we’ve decided to shed some light on this mysterious array of colours, so that you too can taste the ‘winebow’.
Vinho Verde and green wine
Vinho Verde literally translates to ‘green wine’ in Portuguese; however, this title is more indicative of the age of the wine and the region that produces it rather than the colour. The Vinho Verde region in Portugal actually makes all different kinds of wine – red, white and rosé included – what’s ‘green’ about this type of wine is how young it is when bottled, which is typically no more than six weeks after harvest.
Afraid we cheated you out of a colour? We would never! If you truly want to get your hands on some green-coloured wine then you can make a trip over to the US where cannabis-infused wine is happily (and legally) sold in the state of California. The lower fermentation temperatures used to create this herby cannawine will allow drinkers to feel the effects of marijuana without the high levels of TCH, which is said to result in a mellow body high.
The uber-trendy orange wine that you’ve been seeing promoted at every neighbourhood wine bar recently is actually made using a centuries-old method that was once very popular throughout Europe. For one reason or another, orange wine was dropped in favour of reds, whites and rosés and only the small region of Friuli in Italy, near the Slovenian border, kept the practice up. Lately, US-based wineries have started experimenting with the ancient method and have now brought about an orange wine revival.
To create the orange hue, the skins are left on to macerate with the juice during the fermentation process, which is much the same as in red wine production. It’s for this reason that, when served chilled, orange wine shares many of the same characteristics as a lively red.
This grey wine is prepared in much the same way as a rosé – by using red wine grapes that are crushed with the skin on and only left to macerate for a short while. In the case of rosé, this can be anywhere between two to twenty-four hours, but for vin gris there is no maceration time – as soon as the grapes are pressed with the skin on, they are then separated for fermentation.
Yellow wine or vin jaune is a specialty wine hailing from the Jura region in eastern France. The wine is made from extremely ripened Savagnin grapes and aged in a Burgundy barrel for six years and three months. What’s peculiar about this aging process is that the barrels are not kept in temperature-stable cellars but are rather left in well-ventilated rooms that are subject to temperature fluctuations. Also, the barrels are never topped off, which allows a film of yeast to develop; if at any time during the six-and-one-quarter year aging process this film is broken or damaged, the whole barrel is discarded. If all goes according to plan, however, the resulting wine will have a rich golden colourisation, high acidity and a unique flavour of walnut, dried fruit, spices and burned bread.
Here is where we’ll stray a little from what actually constitutes a ‘real’ coloured wine. You can indeed purchase blue wine, made by the Spanish company Gik. However, the colouring is a bit of a cheat as the producers use natural indigo to give the wine its distinctive sapphire colouring. The flavour is said to be sweet, similar to Moscato and although intriguing to look at, a bit of a letdown in the flavour department.
Now that you’ve heard it on the grapevine, it’s time to branch out and try the bunch of wines that are hanging just within reach!