White vs. red

I was looking at my small – but growing – collection of wines and it started me thinking about why I tend to buy more whites than reds. I had not purposely set out to do this and I have no dislike/like for either colour – my only buying criteria is that the wines are ‘interesting’ and, hopefully, complex. Ignoring the desire for ‘complexity’ for a moment, I then started thinking about the styles of red and white wines at certain price points.

If £8 – £17 per bottle is an acceptable price range for most ordinary folk, would it be true to say that the white wines between these price points are potentially more interesting than the reds? To be more specific, will I be likely to find a £15 white Alsace wine more layered than a red Burgundy at the same price? If that seems an unfair comparison, ask yourself whether a £10 claret is going to be as complex as the equivalently priced white Rhone?

The first response may be that I have focussed on French wines in my attempts to compare. So, thinking New World, is a fruity Aussie red at £12 preferable in its depth to a £12 bottle of Chenin Blanc from South Africa? According my theory, it won’t be.  But am I correct?

As I write this, I have thought of all the varieties of sherry as opposed to the styles of port at the same price. Here the argument seems to hold water – if you’ll pardon the pun.

Of course, only wine geeks look for greater complexity in their wines and maybe the majority of people are not attracted to wines that provoke lots of discussion beyond the “that was nice” or “it went well with the ….”. However I think the observation that ” white wines present more interesting wines at a lower price point than red wines” is still valid.

Your thoughts and responses would be most welcome. 





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