No matter what your preference is—white, red, or anything in between—color plays a big part in wine. With this month’s theme being color and the meaning behind different colors, let’s dig a little deeper into the role color plays in the world of wine.
When you are staring at all the wines on the shelf at your favorite store, you may wonder: Is that chardonnay going to be rich or lean in taste and mouth feel? Believe it or not, the answer is right in front of your eyes. The clue lies in the wine’s color. Many “buttery” chardonnays are more extracted, which means they’re usually a rich gold color.
The variances in color help you know if the wine is light, medium, or full-bodied. The color can tell you if the wine is young or old, even if you do not know the vintage. Color can help you know the level of tannins and acidity in the wine. The more advanced your study and the more you learn about wine, the color can also tell you the grape varietal.
Below is a chart showing the variances in the color of wine and how that will affect taste and feel in the mouth.
Now that you have learned about the color of wine in your glass, let’s talk about the use of color in naming wines, and then look at one of the most popular brands of wine with color in the name.
Every color has a meaning, a mood, or an emotion linked to it. Each hue influences a state of mind and triggers an instinct. Wines with color in the names are carefully picked to provoke and promote. Are you easily influenced by color? Would you pick a wine over another if your favorite color was in the name or on the label? Winemakers hope so.
Do you care to guess which color is the most widely used in naming wines?
Of course you do! Here is a breakdown that is probably changing as we speak:
Four wine brands have pink, yellow and blue in their names. Five use green; eight have black and white; nine comprise silver; 12 employ grey and gray. And the winner—with 13 wines—is red.
This month we are featuring a wine that has a color in the brand name. You have probably heard of it or seen it on your favorite store’s shelf. It is Red Truck Wines from Sonoma, Calif. Let’s get to know the brand and each of the wines within that brand.
The idea for Red Truck Wines began when Fred and Nancy Cline of Sonoma’s Cline Cellars fell in love with a painting of a classic old red truck they purchased at an auction benefiting the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Fred and Nancy felt this picture was destined to become a new wine label with universal appeal. Today, Red Truck Winery is produced and marketed by 585 Wine Partners nationally.
The original Red Truck Wine was introduced in 2002. Wine lovers were initially drawn to the label and quickly discovered their syrah, petite syrah, cabernet franc, mourvedre, and Granache Red Blend. They kept coming back for more, asking retailers all around the country, “Do you carry Red Truck Wine?”
Because of this popularity, the Red Truck Winery has added a cabernet, merlot and pinot noir to its Red Truck brand. The Red Truck Cabernet has a lush aroma of blackberry and cherry that is smooth and elegant. The Red Truck Merlot is aromatic with rich plum, blackberry and blackcurrant flavors. The classically rich Red Truck Pinot Noir has a charming red color and premium cherry flavors, blended with smooth spice to accelerate this medium-bodied wine.
The White Truck Wine is an unoaked chardonnay that is lively with complex aromas. It is a balanced and smooth wine that is enjoyable with most foods. The Pink Truck Wine is a lively blend of zinfandel, syrah and merlot that is slightly sweet with a splash of acidity that one can enjoy after a long day.
The Green Truck model introduces CCOF Certified Organic and Vegan-friendly wines. There is a Green Truck chardonnay, petite sirah, and zinfandel. The Green Truck Chardonnay evokes crisp flavors of apple, lemon, and honey for balance and acidity. Elegant flavors of rich fig and vanilla are complemented with a hint of toast to help provide a long, polished finish on the palate. The Green Truck Petite Sirah has lush flavors of cassis, dark cherries and plums, with hints of pepper and spice adding just the right horsepower, and flavors of vanilla oak, soft tannins and a smooth finish. The Green Truck Zinfandel has complex aromas and a bouquet of rich, bursting cherries and spices that captivates the senses. Round, rich flavors of raspberry and blackberry follow, and a subtle hint of vanilla helps provide a soft, lasting finish.
Over the years, all of the Truck label wines have received many “Best Buy” and “Highly Recommended” reviews. You can find White, Pink, Red and Green Truck wines at many of your local Acme, Heinen’s, Giant Eagle, Buehler’s, and independent wine shops in the greater Akron area. The Pink Truck retails for $5.99, White and Red Truck wines for $8.99 to $9.99, and the Green Truck Organic wines run $12.99 to $14.99.
When confronting the many wine-buying decisions at your local retailer, I hope you plan to regard wine more fully in the future, not just to examine it for flaws, but to fully enjoy the aesthetic experience. After all, there is great pleasure to be found in gazing at something that is both complex and beautiful. Remember: “A wine’s color is its face, in which age and character can be read.”
Wine Wisdom: Burgundy is a red color associated with the burgundy wine of the same name, which in turn is named after the Burgundy region of France. Some of the best and most expensive wines in the world come from Burgundy. The wines are referred to as “burgundies”—dry red wines made from pinot noir grapes and white wines made from chardonnay grapes. The legendary DRC, or Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, is the most famous producer in Burgundy. The 2005 Romanée-Conti currently sells for $20,000 per bottle.