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Ruby Hill Winery
July 21, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

Red Wine vs. White Wine

Is red wine better than white wine? Here's what to know.

Which is better, red wine or white wine? Is one more sophisticated than the other? Red and white wines have an age-old rivalry and every wine lover has a different opinion. Of course, everyone has their own palate and preference, but there’s lots to consider. This week, we’ll unpack a little bit about the most important similarities and differences between red and white wine. 


Despite their differences, red and white wine do have some similarities. Both are made from grapes, of course, and farming practices don’t vary wildly between red and white wine grapes. Additionally, red and white wines have similar components on the molecular level, including alcohol (a valuable component), tannins, and the compounds that lend acidity. Additionally, you can evaluate wines on basic characteristics like aroma, flavors, body, and finish regardless of its color. Both offer dynamic and delicious pairing for foods and can be enjoyed year round. 


Technically, the biggest difference between red and white wines is their color, but there is more to it than that! One core difference involves the way that they are made. The color of red wines comes from leaving the juice in contact with the grape skins after pressing. This contact is what gives red wine its characteristic color, makes red wines more tannic than white wines, and infuses flavors and aromas that you can only find in red wines. The tannin content is responsible for the stability and ageability of red wines. White wines, on the other hand, are not dependent on the skins of the grape. White wines can be made from dark grapes as long as the juice is not left on the skins, but more often white wines are made from green and yellow grapes. The result is a yellow-hued wine that is lighter in flavor, best served chilled, but just as elegant and complex as a red wine. Because of the lower tannin content, white wines are enjoyed young relative to red wines.

Where does Rosé wine come into this?

In many ways, Rosé wines offer elements of both red and white wines. Most Rosés are made by allowing the juice to be in contact with the skins of the grape after pressing, but for a very short time. This allows some of the body, stability, and flavor of red wines while keeping the crisp and delicate freshness of a white wine. Like white wines, Rosé is best enjoyed chilled. 

Which is better: red wine or white wine?

Truly, this is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the beauty of tannins in a well-aged red,  flavor of red wine, while others enjoy the bright and elegant aromas and refreshing nature of white wine. There is no right or wrong answer! 

So, which one should I drink?

If you find yourself needing to pick between the two, there are a few variables that can help you decide:

What are you eating? Red wine is often paired with heavier foods, such as red meat and rich cheeses, while white wine is often paired with lighter foods like fish or chicken. If there are multiple courses that range in weight, split the difference with a heavier white wine, a  Rosé, or a lighter red. 

How’s the weather? While we have nothing against enjoying a deep red wine on a warm day, a chilled white wine is exactly the kind refreshment you might need. Rich and lovely reds are ideal for a cozy meal on a cooler day. 

What do you have on hand? If you don’t have an opportunity to pick a new wine, try working with what you have. This is a great way to discover new favorite pairings, learn more about what you like, and make some room in your wine storage for new arrivals.

Cast your vote in the red wine vs. white wine debate by taking advantage of our Case Sale, which offers a Mixed Red Wine Case and a White Wine case at an unbeatable discount. Which are you choosing? Why not both! Shop now. 


sarasowmya's Gravatar
@ Apr 21, 2024 at 8:36 PM
Cheers to the eternal debate between red and white wines! Each sip tells a story of tradition, terroir, and personal taste.

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