Crash course red wine

How is red wine made? What are the main grape varieties? Why does red wine is better with meat than with fish? What are the differences with white wine?

For many it seems a simple question, but do you know really the differences with the white wine and do you know what the consequences of fundamental differences entail? The premise is simple: with a white wine fermented the grape juice is not in contact with the druivenschillen and nuts, with red wine. The maceration, the removal of color and flavor from the skins and seeds in the juice, makes for a unique character in red wine. Red wine has tannins, white wine is not.

Wanted or cultuurgist?
In general, it is a red wine made only from red grapes. It is very important that the grapes are as healthy as possible is to be picked, free of rot, as this is the colour and the taste of the wine can change. Rot and other fungi, mostly on the skins and who go along the gistingtank in.

When the freshly picked grapes in the winery to enter, they usually have a machine of their stealing and stripped (gerist). Sometimes they will be subsequently crushed and the whole of the juice, skins and pips, ‘most’, then in large gistingtanks. That can be made of wood, enamelled concrete or the now much more widely used stainless steel. Some winemakers swear by ‘wild’ yeasts, which occur in the vineyard, on the grapes, in the winery. But most wine makers use so-called ‘cultuurgisten’ to the grape must to add to the fermentation to set in motion. Cultuurgisten are specially bred in laboratories with the intention of the fermentation process more smoothly.

During fermentation, the sugar from the grape juice are converted into alcohol. Two by-products of this chemical reaction are C02 and heat. When red wine will begin the fermentation process, around a temperature of 20°C. however it will stop when the temperature is above 35°C increases. It is therefore essential to the gistingtemperatuur particularly accurate to check and send if needed. This is done with the spirals in the tanks are and where coolant or cold water is pumped through.

Deadly gas
When fermenting red grape must will continue to stand, will after a short time at the top of the tank, a thick layer of skins and seeds sitting on top of the grape juice. That way it will sap a little color and other substances to the skins and the seeds – the seeds sit mainly tannins, extract and the wine will therefore but a thin color and a faded taste. The skins and seeds need to be regularly immersed in the juice.

That can be done in different ways. In most wineries, the juice from the bottom of the tank on top of the schillenkoek pumped. This is normally about two times per day. Another, more labour intensive way is the cake to break up and submerge with a kind of stick that on the end a thickening. This second way is softer and more suitable for more delicate red wines such as Burgundy. This process is usually manual and therefore dangerous, because the winemaker can be stunned by the C02 from the wine escapes. And that can be deadly. A third way to peel in the sap immersed to keep running gistingtanks. That rotate, such as a washing machine, but much slower, of course!

They want the wine even more concentrated, the winemaker is a part of the sap be avoided. In French its called ‘saigner’, ‘let it bleed’. In this way the ratio between skins and juice is larger, so there is still more color in the final wine will be. The juice that they let run away has a rosékleur and is further fermented to rosé wines. The fermentation of red wine takes about one to three weeks. The longer the time, the more concentrated the wine.

A fermentation
Now the wine was mistaken – only now we can use ‘wine’ to speak -, he must be separated from the schillenkoek. This is done through a hole in the bottom of the tank. The shells, which are still filled with wine, are pressed and wine is, in principle, with the rest.

The red wine is now either in stainless steel tanks or in wooden barrels is put, where he is the second fermentation, called malolactic fermentation. Also lactic acid bacteria, the strong acid malic acid, that is naturally just as in all other fruit in grapes is present in much softer lactic acid. Red wine has this benefit, because the character is more subtle. There is already a lot of flavor and tannins, the maceration, red wine is in fact more complex than white wine. White wine undergoes, therefore, generally no malolactic fermentation. He has the tighter malic acid needed to give him more strength to give.

After this second fermentation, in which alcohol produces, the wine, whether or not for a period in oak barrels before it is bottled. Cheaper wine made quickly to drink, will not get any houtlagering, expensive wine with great aging potential, sometimes of up to two years or more. For the most expensive and most concentrated wines used new wood. They will also have a pronounced houtsmaak lunch.

Three major red grape varieties, Cabernet sauvignon
Cabernet sauvignon can be found everywhere in the world back. He feels most at home in Bordeaux, where it is mixed with merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot.
Cabernet sauvignon produces aromatic, tannine rich and powerful wine with a tight structure which is exquisite and elegant aging. Its aromas include black currant, cedar, cigar, pencil, green peppers, mint, and sometimes dark chocolate.

Pinot noir
Pinot noir is the grape of Burgundy and one of the most difficult to grow grape varieties. It sometimes makes the comparison with bordeaux, burgundy overwhelms, while bordeaux always discreet and stays tight. Ripe pinot noir offers temptation with its complex aromas of raspberries, strawberries, wild, compost, allspice, tobacco, leather and hay, attached to a light colour and a velvety taste.
Sangiovese is the grape of Tuscany. There are both slobberwijnen made as big blockbusters. Sangiovese is decisive for chianti, but also for big names such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese wines are rich and robust. The styles range from light, astringent (causing the mouth to contract) and simple to full, powerful and lichtkruidig, with aromas of ripe and full of red berries, black cherries, tobacco and herbs.

Red wine is better with meat than with fish
The reason as to why fish better white than red wine drinking has to do with the tannins in red wine sit. Fish is more delicate and less complex flavor than the meat, so that means in itself that there is a more delicate wine should pay. And white is more delicate than red. In addition, the structure of fish carried by proteins. Tannins have the property of proteins to break down and taste one. The fish loses its taste at all. Red wine can only be when the sauce with the fish made of red wine. Often, the fish is then simmered in the sauce.

Why do many red wines today, a lot of alcohol?
At various places in the world with many producers of red wine for a year or ten one dogma: that of the ‘phenological ripeness’. The idea behind it is simple. To get the best red wine to make the grapes are optimally ripe before they are picked. ‘Fenologisch” refers to the skins and the seeds, phenological components such as tannins and dyes. Wine of fenologisch ripe grapes with soft tannins, a deep color and pure fruity aromas.

Determine whether a grape fenologisch is ripe, it is purely visual: the seeds must be completely brown in color. And that usually lasts quite long. Grapes that are perfectly ripe – which is not only sufficient sugar and the right degree of acidity, but also, and especially, brown seeds – have a higher sugar content by the simple fact that they longer sent to the stick. They will be so much more alcohol to produce. Nowadays you can see especially in the New World red wines with an alcohol content of 15% and more. Solutions to this problem are: past, picking, and planting in cooler areas, and the wine is less concentrated during the maceration.

Why is old red wine is lighter in color? That requires a chemical explanation. The red colouring agents, anthocyanins, and tannins from the skins of blue grapes belong to the chemical group of polyphenols. They are closely related to each other. Under the influence of oxygen bind the molecules of these polyphenols on each other. Chemists speak of polymerization.

That polymerization is essential for various reasons. The tannins are, in unbound form, hard. In the mouth they do to the proteins, the saliva precipitation, so that its lubricating effect lose and an uncomfortably dry (‘astringent’) effect in the mouth. The tannins are tied together, they are softer and rounder.

In that polymerization are also the dyes involved. The chains are strong and long-term, making the color of the wine, as it were, is held. Unbound anthocyanins would quickly precipitate, making the wine soon a lighter color would be. The nice thing is that the polymerization in red wine continues, even in the bottle. Therefore, red wines after several years of bottle softer in taste: the tannins continue to bind and be rounder. These chains are on the expensive literally so heavy that they precipitate a dark, almost black dregs at the bottom of the bottle. That are bound to tannins and dyes. Therefore, old red wine is softer in taste and lighter in color, to brick red.

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