Grapes are a clear example that color is only skin deep and yet creates lasting preconceptions. All grape juice is light (white) in color and it is only from pressing the skins of the grapes with the juice do you change the color of the juice to be red, pink, or orange. So, while red wine is necessarily made with red grapes, white wine does not need to be. Pressing the juice with the skin is also how we get variations in color – from a light, pale rosé to a vibrant, neon orange, to a dark and deep purple.
A perfect example of white wine made from a mix of grapes is Champagne, where the light, effervescent white wine is typically made from a blend of Chardonnay (white), Pinot Noir (red), and Meunier (red) grapes. You can, however, have Champagne, or other sparkling wine in the Champagne method, made solely from white or red grapes. Blanc de Blanc means “white from white” and adding this phrase to a label states that only the white grapes were used to make this white wine. Blanc to Blanc Champagnes, and similar sparkling wines, are often a bit lighter, dryer, and more acidic than their counterparts made with red and white grapes.
Similarly, you can also find bottles labeled Blanc de Noir, “white from blacks,” that are made with only red grapes. These bottles tend to be bit more robust and fruity than traditional Champagnes or Blanc de Blanc bottles.