Red Wine vs White Wine – Similarities and Differences

Drink Comparison, Drink Guides

red wine vs white wine

Whether you’re waiting for the perfect time to crack open a bottle of wine, like National Wine Day, or a Texan who enjoys wine with family and friends regularly, you might struggle to choose between red wine and white wine.

Wondering what their similarities and differences are and when or how you can best enjoy them? Check out our guide on red wine vs white wine below and shop for your favorite wine!

Red and White Wine Similarities

Obviously, the first major similarity is they’re both wines! Red and white wine are also made with similar ingredients and methods. Particularly, they’re made with grapes and include a fermenting process. Both have tannins, alcohol, and glycerin. They’re both acidic, too.

Red and white wines are also a favorite among Texans because of their versatility, and you have a wide range of options.

Red vs. White Wine: Differences

From the grape choice and flavor profile to aging and food pairing, there are several wine differences that you should know.

red vs white wine


One key difference between red wine and white wine is the color. Red wine can have an intense violet, brown, or brick-red color. Meanwhile, white wine can be golden or yellow.

Grapes Used

Although both are made with grapes, red wine and white wine’s grape choices are different. For red wine, it’s black or red grapes. For, white wine, it’s yellow or white grapes. However, if you think that red or black grapes produce red juice and white grapes produce white juice, that’s not accurate. The juice that almost all grapes produce is clear.

The color actually comes from grape skins. These grape skins and seeds stay in the juice while fermenting with red wine. This is what gives red wine its unique color and flavor. The grape skins and seeds are taken out with white wine before fermentation.

Fermentation Process

Wines are made by crushing grapes in a must. For red wines, fermentation begins during maceration. This process involves soaking crushed grapes, skins, and seeds in a wine must, extracting the color, flavor profile, and tannins. As the grape stays in contact with its skins longer, the color that will be extracted gets deeper too. As a result, you get a crisp flavor. The fermentation temperature for red wine ranges from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 89 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, white wines are placed in a crushing machine and pressed to bring out only cloudy juices. The usual fermentation temperature of white wine is between 53 degrees Fahrenheit and 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flavor Profiles

red wine

Speaking of flavor, red wine and white wine have striking differences too. Red wine offers a depth of flavor. It can have rustic flavors like earth and wood. Fruitier versions offer red and dark berries flavors, including cherries, blackberries, and strawberries. Red wine’s complex flavor profile can also be meaty or spicy.

White wines are usually lighter and have a simpler taste profile. They’re usually fruitier, offering hints of citrus or other fruits, such as peaches, apples, pears, and apricots.


While we won’t judge you if you use any old wine glass when drinking red or white wine, there are proper glasses for each. Taller glasses with a bigger bowl are perfect for red wines, and no, it’s not for aesthetic purposes or whatnot. This design offers more space for the wine’s aroma and flavor. As you know, red wines have stronger flavors and aromas.

Meanwhile, white wines are for thinner glasses with a smaller bowl. You can easily enjoy the floral aroma of white wine. Also, the smaller bowl allows the wine to remain chilled and preserve its acidity.


When it comes to red vs white wine, you may also wonder which variety ages longer. Usually, you can drink red wine within five years. For special red wines, aging can last for a maximum of 20 years. Meanwhile, an unoaked white wine should be consumed within two years. You can drink an oaked white wine within five years.

Food Pairings

Another difference between red vs white wine is the food pairing. Generally speaking, red wines are perfect for red meats, other bold-flavored meats, and food with flavorful sauces. For instance, light red wine’s earthy flavors are best paired with pork, lamb, venison, and fatty fish like salmon. Medium red wines go well with red meat, white meat, cured meat, and salad.

Meanwhile, white wines go well with lighter food, including fish, chicken, and seafood. For example, dry white wines have great acidity, complementing oysters, roasted veggies, grilled fish, and some light sauces. You can have white meat, grilled lobster, and starchy food for rich white wine.


calories in a bottle of red wine

Calories in wine also differ slightly. While calories in a bottle of red wine are 625 for 750 milliliters, calories in a bottle of white wine are only 600 for the same 750ml.

Different types of red and white wines also have the slightly varying calorie content. For example, Burgundy has 127 calories per 5 ounces, and Zinfandel has 129 calories per 5 ounces. Meanwhile, Pinot Grigio has 122 calories per 5 ounces, and Chardonnay has 123 calories per 5 ounces.

Health Benefits

Both red wine and white wine contain vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron. However, red wine has higher amounts. Red wine is also said to offer you more health benefits. For example, it may promote higher levels of good HDL cholesterol, which is often associated with reduced heart disease rates.

Research also shows that red wine can reduce the risks of dying from lung cancer, prostate cancer, and heart disease by 30% to 50%. These health benefits are linked to polyphenols or compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Red wine may slow down mental decline. This is because of a compound present in red wine known as resveratrol, which has antioxidant effects.

Several studies focus on the health benefits of red wine. However, white wine can also be beneficial for you. For example, a phenol in white wine called caffeic acid may help reduce kidney and heart conditions. Also, aged white wine can promote better heart health as it can help repair endothelial cells in blood vessels.

Best Moments To Enjoy Red or White Wine

You don’t have to wait for Texas Wine Month in October to enjoy incredible red or white wine, especially since you can always order your favorite wine online or visit a Zipps Liquor store location. From dinner dates and family gatherings to parties and other celebrations, there are many great moments to drink wine.

Backyard Picnics

calories in a bottle of white wine

Do you remember the last time you picnic with family and friends? It’s time to bring those gorgeous blankets and picnic baskets outside. With some simple snacks, including sandwiches, salads, fruits, and a bottle of wine, you can breathe in the fresh air, appreciate nature better, and spend quality time with your loved ones.


If you’re a fan of cooking, then you can make your cooking experience unique and memorable by drinking wine. You can even try adding wine to your food. If you’re a food and wine lover, you can do some food pairing to create the best taste.

Movie Nights

Movies plus wine is the perfect way to chill and just enjoy the night with your squad or significant other. Whether you’re watching a rom-com or a thriller, a bowl of popcorn, a comfortable blanket, dimmed lights, and a glass of wine will make you look forward to more movie nights. Even when you’re having a movie night alone, a good film and wine won’t disappoint.

Game Nights

tasting the wine

Adding red or white wines to your game nights with friends will surely make your time with them more fun and special. Whether you’re competitive or simply want to try new games and enjoy good conversations with your favorite people, you can’t go wrong with a glass of wine. If you’re a group that loves exploring various types of wines, you can buy from Zipps Liquor and have your own wine tasting at home or outside while playing games.

Date Nights

Some of the most memorable and romantic date nights include wine. You can start your date and get more comfortable with each other with some Prosecco or dry white wine. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon are also great choices once you’ve started your meal. If your dish is more of a richer meat, red wines are the best. Meanwhile, Riesling goes well with spicy dishes.

Paint and Wine

Creative activities like drawing or painting are also great opportunities to drink red or white wine. Whether you’re honing your painting skills or learning new things, a paint and wine activity is ideal. If you don’t want to risk trying not-so-good wine at paint and wine events, you can have your own party and pick up your chosen wine or deliver it to your door.


Reading and wine are a good combo too! You get transported to a different world, relax, and enjoy your alone time. Just don’t drink too much to stay focused on the book you’re reading.


Are you, your friend, partner, or parent celebrating another year soon? Make the day more special with the best food and wine. A bottle of red wine is recommended if you’re serving red meat and heavier food. If you’re serving lighter food, then go for white wine.

In conclusion

Red and white wine may have the same ingredients and methods, but they also have several differences. These include their color, grape choice, fermentation procedure, food pairing, presentation, and more. Calories in wine also differ. Whether you prefer red, white, or both, you can enjoy it alone or with family and friends.

At Zipps Liquor, we have a wide variety of red wines and white wines available online and in-store throughout Texas. So shop online or find the nearby liquor store and buy your favorite wine today. 

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