One of the most interesting characteristics of wine is colour.  Colour says a great deal about the grape varieties, where the wine comes and even how it is made.  But how do you classify the colour?

For red wines, for me there are three basic colour “themes”:

  • Bright red which you can see in wines like Pinot Noir,
  • Tending towards purple in heavier wines,
  • Those with a hint of brown usually from age.

The chart below gives an indication as to what I mean.

Colour themes for red wine

My view is that for red wines, the colour would lie somewhere between these three.

Colour is only one of the visual aspects.  The other two that I regard as important are clarity and intensity.

Clarity is all about cloudiness – is the wine clear – does it have that sparkle?  Or is there a dullness to it?

Intensity is all about depth of colour.  Two wines may be red, but one will appear darker because its colour is far more intense.

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