How does the colour of white wines age with time?

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White wines are basically made from white grapes. These grapes were actually green when they were picked, so white wines don’t have any colour when they start off their lives.

When white wines are young, they appear to be quite pale, with a beautiful, slightly greeny colour, which indicates its freshness. As they age, or “maderize”, the colour gets fuller and browner, to look like Madeira.

For sweet wines, such as Sauternes, since they are fermented in casks not stainless-steel tanks, they are more oxidised, thus will appear to be golden.

The legs of sweet wines (the tears which go down the glass) are also an indication of their sweetness or richness as they are usually very thick – meaning you can tell if a wine is going to be sweet even without smelling or tasting it.

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