How do we get the colour red in our wine? Well to begin with most red grape varietals reveal a transparent, water-like colour once pressed. The deep, red and purple colours we associate with red wine are achieved through skin contact with the must or juice. This is an important part of red winemaking and it is known as maceration.
The pigment cells, Anthocyanins, are contained in the skins of grapes and these vary from blue to purple to red. Red wine lightens with age and therefore it is quite possible to tell the age of a red wine by assessing the appearance. This is the first stage in the tasting ritual and a lot can be gained through careful attention. Hence, a young red wine shows colours of purple to ruby to garnet. With ageing the colour pigments or Anthocyanins, group together and precipatate out as sediment – that deposit that gathers on the side and at the bottom of the bottle. The pH and acidity also plays a significant role in the colour of red wine.