Next we look at the color of the wine. It is important to note the color or hue as well as the intensity or depth of the color. White wines can range in color from clear to deep brown. The normal shades of color in white wine include water white, pale straw, lemon yellow (slightly deeper), gold, amber and brown. It is common to qualify any of these descriptors, e.g. a very light lemon yellow. Sometimes, as in Chablis, there may be tinges or glimmers of green, while some wines, particularly older Riesling, may have orange reflections. Madiera is recognized by a vibrant green rim.
Rosé wine can be just barely off-white (oeil de perdrix, 'partridge eye,' or onion skin), pink or salmon colored. As they age or oxidize they take on a definite orange hue.
Red wines can be cherry red, ruby red, garnet, purple or black. As they age they begin to turn brick colored at the edge and this character spreads through the wine. They eventually turn tawny and then mahogany.
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