Did you know that white wine can be made with red or white grapes? The major difference between making red wine and white wine is that the juice is fermented without the grape’s skins when making white wine. First, the grapes are pressed off the skins and the sweet grape juice is collected in vats to be fermented into wine. Part 2: Fermenting Grape Juice into Wine White wines are typically fermented much cooler than red wines. This is to preserve the fresh fruity flavors. During this time the 2 parts sugar ferments into 1 part alcohol. So, if you start with 2 Brix of sugar you’ll get a 1% ABV wine. The higher the sugar content of the juice the higher the resulting alcohol level. White wines are also much more susceptible to discoloration (e.g. turn yellow-brown) and don’t commonly cellar as long as red wines. Part 3: Oaky Wine and MLF
Making white wine adds vanilla flavors. MLF adds a creaminess to white wine. These 2 processes take time and cost extra money for the winery, that’s why oaky wines tend to be more expensive. Why Some White Wines Taste “Creamy” After the wine is fermented, an additional fermentation (actually technically, it’s a microbial metabolism) called Malo-Lactic Fermentation (MLF). MLF makes white wines taste more oily or creamy. What’s happening in the MLF alters the type of acid in a wine. Part 4: Filtering and Bottling White wines are almost always filtered before bottling. If you make white wine at home, often it will end up being cloudy. This is because it hasn’t been filtered. Believe it or not, white wines tend to be more unstable than red wines, and usually, winemakers have to add more sulfites to white wines than red wines.