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Red or white?

Some suggestions please!

My parents are hosting what they like to term a ‘Christmas recovery party’ next weekend, this year’s theme is ‘wine’ :rofl:

Anyway one of the games will be ‘red or white’ with guests asked to taste blind and guess the colour. I’m a bit stumped as to what wines to suggest for it, but am sure some of you will have done this before and have some good suggestions - either from TWS or a supermarket.


Try this…


I saw that but thought it was slightly cheating :smile:

I was also going to suggest a skin contact white and a rose… :wink:

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How many wines in the game, and how many people? Do you want to make it so that some are easy, and others harder?

I’d guess that a simple, fruity beaujolais, well chilled, would fool quite a lot of people into thinking that it was white. Pinot Gris can get a tannic edge, too, which might be tricky to pick out the other way, but I don’t have any specific example from the TWS list, I’m afraid. But as @szaki1974 says, a skin contact white could also do the trick in that sense.

Just one of each, there are four games in different rooms and teams of 6. Beaujolais a good idea!

Orange wine has to be there, it isn’t cheating!

Did the society not have a white sangiovese (Dropello?) on the list at one point? I’m sure i didn’t dream it and shared a bottle with a mate and my mum out of curiosity, but cant find it in my previous orders.

Do you think a really over-oaked white might work? Something that distracts you away from the fruit flavours, and where the smell could come equally from red or white, because it’s just woody?

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I was going to suggest this:

…as the OH once tasted it blind and thought it was a red - it’s quite weighty for a rose, but then realised the game is called ‘Red or White’ :woman_facepalming:

I’d go with a lightish Bojo, slightly chilled a la @robertd’s suggestion, though you could equally use a light PN? This could work, perhaps:


Musar White can also be a tad astringent, but I doubt TWS or supermarkets stock it.

I suggest you serve all the wines at the same temperature, 12-14C for example, to remove one of the most obvious clues to colour.

I have ordered some of the Tavel Rose by Mabey ,because i recently drank some of the Lirac Rouge La Fermade, Domaine Maby 2016

The Tavel Rose decription states “An outstanding example of Tavel, the Rhône appellation that produces only rosé wine” One page on Wikipedia stated that Tavel produced red and rose wines and another that it only produced rose wines which is correct.
This led me to find out how to ament Wikipedia and to amend the page, quoting the Wine society as my main source and the other page on Wikipedia that has the correct information

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It doesn’t matter. People here are overthinking it. Without sight to see the colour it’s very difficult to distinguish white for red wine.

That’s been shown by a well-publicised academic test in the early 2000s when experts were asked to describe two wines one red one white - except they were the same white wine, the ‘red’ had been dyed with flavourless food colouring.

You might also want to se this as an example, as more suitable for the party. Different wines, different grapes


+1 for the Tavel.

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To be fair, that study doesn’t show that without colour you can’t distinguish them. What it does show is that the visual cues bias and maybe even change what you perceive in smell and taste. Whether or not your sense of smell and taste would be able to do the job without the visual cues is a different question.

That’s not to say that it’s not going to be very hard with whatever is chosen, and you could well be right that any old red and white would do. Instinctively, though, some would seem to be easier to tell apart than others. It would be a fascinating exercise to try this out with various pairings. Experimental design to do it properly would be interesting!

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Correct @robertd. And the participants commented only on the aromas, without tasting. One of the main differences between red and white wine is astringency, which is perceived on the palate.

How about this as a wildcard option. Red and white!

I remember watching a programme with Oz Clark tasting (impromptu, to be fair) wines whilst being blindfolded, and failing to recognise red from white almost every time. It made me realise just how much we use all our senses when we build a picture of a wine aroma and flavour.

This wording is confusing. It’s not as first seems - a blending of red and white wines which is illegal outside of Champagne - but a co-fermentation of a very small = +/- 5% amount of white Viognier grapes with Syrah grapes. And this co-fermentation is not so unusual around the world. The Univ of California at Davis worked out the chemistry at work behind the benefits of such co-fermentation.

Yet another TWS website blurb which appears to be written by people without much vinous knowledge

It does say blend of red and white grapes, not wines, not sure its all that confusing tbh.


I think the problem is in the use of the word “blend”, which is usually used about wines rather than grapes. Sometimes Syrah and Viognier wines ARE actually blended, so there is some confusion.

But @peterm is wrong to say that blending of red and white wines is illegal outside of Champagne. It is often stated, but a moment’s thought will reveal it is not true, even in Europe. Start by considering non-Champagne sparkling rosés! The rules are rather technical, but basically is it allowed at the EU level for any PDO wine (though very few non-sparkling PDOs seem to allow it).