What can you learn from the colour of red wine?
The look of a wine is first sign you have to start considering what the wine is about. Here are a handful of general indications, as with everything in wine, there are exceptions to these rules.
Red wine runs from ‘purple’ - 'ruby’ - 'red’ (Wine Folly has a chart
). If there’s a hint of blue, then it’s purple, a hint of violet, then it’s ruby, and if it’s just red, it’s red.
The bluer the wine, the lower the acidity. The redder the wine, the higher the acidity.
When there is hints of brown in the wine, we call it garnet, which is typical as wines start to age. Really old wines will eventually just turn brown.
The final thing to look for is the intensity of the colour. Different grapes will produce wines of different intensity. Gamay (from Beaujolais), and pinot noir are both typically low intensity wines, while syrah and cabernet sauvignon are typically high intensity wines. Tannins also help to make more intense, deeper wines.
The most important thing though is whether you find it enjoyable to look at. Psychologically, first impressions are important, and your first impression of the glass is going to impact what you think of it.