What’s a ‘Black Red’ you ask?
No, it’s not a long-lost Stones track. Imagine a wine so deep, so dark … you can’t even see through it. It absorbs all the light like a liquid black diamond. And if it’s that intense-looking in the glass, you can just imagine what it tastes like. But not all reds are ready to play with The Dark Star Orchestra or be Back in Black with AC/DC. Some red wines are downright … dainty.
Why the variation? Different grapes have different characteristics, and one of the primary things (without going super wine geek on you) that determines color is the thickness of, and pigments in, grape skins.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec tend to grow much thicker skins than Pinot Noir or Gamay. So in general, the wines they wind up producing appear darker. Of course, this all depends on the vineyard environment – sun, temperature, wind, etc. all play a role in viticulture.
Black reds are also usually richer-flavored and fuller-bodied, and this is a style that’s been enjoying a major surge in popularity. Wine fans have grown so used to ebony-hued vino, alarm bells sound when they try something like a cool-climate Pinot Noir (– ahem – Burgundy, Washington State, and Tasmania!). This is a wine style that tends to have a lighter, sometimes nearly see-through ruby color – and subsequently, is more delicately textured.
So … now you know a bit more about what’s up in your glass. We’ll let you ponder such intense revelations a while longer with the best song for the job. Cheers!