Today the internet was abuzz with a dress and its colour! In short it seems that while some people were convinced that the dress on a photo was cream and gold, others were adamant for it to be blue and black…
We obviously assume that others see things the same way we do – literally that is. At the same time we are quite willing to expect that we do not all have the same sensory experience when it comes to taste. How often does it happen that you drink the same bottle of wine with one person being indifferent and the other in love with the wine? It seems that we are more lenient when it comes to humouring the different sensory experiences when it comes to taste than vision.
While the colour of a dress is hardly something that makes me excited, it did make me think about how we experience colour and the associations we make – when it comes to wine of course.
Does the rooky wine drinker have a different expectation than the connoisseur when they are poured a glass of red wine with a bright purple colour? When you have some wine knowledge and experience the colour of the wine can already tell you a significant amount about the wine. It can indicate the age, variety, complexity and acidity and can even result in you making up your mind on the wine before you have tasted it. When you are in the mood for a fresh aperitif-style Sauvignon Blanc and the glass on the waiter tray is a deep yellow, you might be disappointed before even trying the wine.
Winefolly.com shares detailed information on the colour of wine. Here are some main considerations:
- Intensity – the more intense, the denser the style of the wine (usually because of longer skin contact). Expect a bolder wine with higher tannins.
- Opacity – can you see the light shine through? This can be a good indication of variety and age.
- Colour in the middle – can be a good indication of the age, but it will also depend on the style of the wine. Lighter style red wines will lose their colour quicker than complex styles made to mature. This is why it is good to keep all the elements in mind – intensity, opacity, hue a…
- Colour at the rim – is also a good indication of age. A big difference in colour between the middle and the rim usually indicates an older wine. Is there a slight blue tinge on the rim of a red wine? Expect higher acidity.
- Light: How does light refract through the wine – if it shines through clearly, expect a lighter, younger wine and if it casts a yellow hue, you might be in for a richer, oak-matured, older white wine or even a sweet wine that extracted more colour from the skins.
- Intensity – again the lighter wine usually would be the younger and fresher in style regardless of the cultivar, while the deeper colour can indicate oak maturation, age and complexity.
- Hue – a greenish tint suggests grassy and green flavours while a golden tone promises fruit such as apricot, peach and pineapple.