The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Vintners in South Africa, France, Australia, California and more find themselves grappling with the effects of climate change, the Associated Press reported, as a tiny swing in temperatures can change the sugar, acid and tannin content for some grape varieties, making it difficult for wineries to replicate batches produced in the past.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zen Honeycutt
The past few years have revealed some disturbing news for the alcohol industry. In 2015, CBS news broke the announcement of a lawsuit against 31 brands of wines for high levels of inorganic arsenic. In 2016, beer testing in Germany also revealed residues of glyphosate in every single sample tested, even independent beers.
Moms Across America released test results of 12 California wines that were all found to be positive for glyphosate in 2016. We tested further and released new findings last week of glyphosate in all of the most popular brands of wines in the world, the majority of which are from the U.S. and in batch test results in American beer.
By Andy Rowell
They say that oil and water do not mix. And now the proverb applies to oil and wine.
There is an escalating tension in Canada between the Albertan and British Columbian (B.C.) governments over the disputed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, which is due to transport tar sands from Alberta to the B.C. Coast.
By Stuart Butler
Christmas is just around the corner and with it flying reindeer and over-sized turkeys, carol singing and tinsel covered trees. The holiday season also means wine-drinking (and the younger and more excited your children, the more bottles of wine you'll likely require). For those of us who imbibe, it's almost impossible to imagine a Christmas without wine. It would be like a Christmas without a fat man in a red suit trying to squeeze down the chimney.
By Kerri-Ann Jennings
Whether you prefer white or red wine is generally a matter of taste.
But if you want the healthiest pick, which should you choose?
Red wine has drawn lots of attention for its research-backed potential to lower the risk of heart disease and lengthen your lifespan.
Does white wine have the same benefits?
This article will review what you need to know about red and white wine—how they're made, what to watch out for and which is healthier.
What Is Wine?
Wine is made from fermented grape juice.
Grapes are picked, crushed and placed in buckets or vats to ferment. The process of fermentation turns the natural sugars in the grape juice into alcohol.
Fermentation can occur naturally, but sometimes winemakers add yeast to help control the process.
The crushed grapes are put through a press, which removes the skins and other sediment. Whether this step is done before or after fermentation determines whether the wine becomes red or white.
To make white wine, grapes are pressed before fermentation. Red wine is pressed after fermentation.
After this step, the wine is aged in stainless steel or oak barrels until it's ready to be bottled.
Summary: Wine is made from fermented grape juice. The grapes are picked, crushed and then allowed to ferment in buckets or vats.
What's the Difference Between Red and White Wine?
The main difference between white and red wine has to do with whether the grape juice is fermented with the grape skins.
To make white wine, grapes are pressed and skins, seeds and stems are removed before fermentation.
However, to make red wine, the crushed grapes are transferred to vats directly and they ferment with the skin, seeds and stems. The grape skins lend the wine its pigment, as well as many of the distinctive health compounds found in red wine.
As a result of steeping with the grape skins, red wine is particularly rich in plant compounds that are present in those skins, such as tannins and resveratrol (1).
White wine also has some of these healthy plant compounds, but generally in much lower amounts (2).
Many different grape varietals are used to produce wine, including Pinot Gris, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
While red varietals are used to make red wine, white wine can actually be made from red or white grapes. For instance, traditional French champagne is made with the red Pinot Noir grape.
Many countries produce wine. Some of the main wine-growing regions are in France, Italy, Spain, Chile, South Africa, Australia and California in the U.S.
While most regions grow several types of grape varietals, some places are particularly known for one or two, such as Napa Valley Chardonnay, Spanish Tempranillo and South African Chenin Blanc.
Summary: Red wine grapes are fermented with the skin on, which gives the wine its color and provides beneficial plant compounds. Grapes for white wine, on the other hand, have their skins removed.
Red and white wine have very similar nutrition profiles.
Overall, red wine has a slight edge over white because it has higher amounts of some vitamins and minerals. Nevertheless, white wine contains fewer calories.
Summary: In terms of nutrients, red and white wine are neck and neck. However, red wine has slightly higher levels of some vitamins and minerals.