Can you judge a wine by its color? | Michigan Radio

Can you judge a wine by its color?

Jun 2, 2015

You can still learn a thing or two from the color of white wines, but it's become much harder to judge reds by the same criteria.
Credit Faisal Akram/flickr /

How much can you tell about a wine by its color?

According to Hour Detroit Magazine chief wine and restaurant critic Chris Cook, not as much as you used to.

“A lot of the flaws that used to exist in wine have been rectified by new technology and better wine-making,” Cook says.

One technique employed by some winemakers involves adding a dye called Mega Purple to red wines, giving them a darker color than could perhaps be achieved naturally.

Cook says that the additive doesn’t change the flavor, but, “[when] you have a wine with Mega Purple in it, you can’t tell anything really, except a very deep coloring.”

Knowing what to look for in a wine color can be useful, but Cook says, “Don’t underestimate a wine by its lightness.”