Can Chardonnay Be Red?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Chardonnay grapes have light green skin, so it’s not possible for them to create red wine. Sometimes Chardonnay is called the red wine of white wines, though. So perhaps it doesn’t need a different color to delight someone who ordinarily drinks red wine. There’s also a Chardonnay rosé made from an extremely rare mutation of the standard Chardonnay grape. But unfortunately, this wine is almost impossible to find.

Are Chardonnay Grapes Red?

Chardonnay grapes are not red. Their color resembles the green grapes often available in grocery stores, which are called table grapes. Wine grapes are usually smaller than table grapes, however. That aside, red wine gets its color from the skin of grapes, which is why the grapes that produce red wine are dark. Sometimes they’re red, purple, or almost black, but they all have an intense color that produces red wine.

Pouring wine into a glass - Can Chardonnay Be Red?

That doesn’t mean a dark grape can’t produce white wine, only that a green grape isn’t capable of producing red wine. Winemakers can skip the steps involving soaking the skin of the grapes, and the wine won’t have the bold color of red wines.

Can Chardonnay Be Pink?

Chardonnay rosé does exist, but right now, the grapes responsible are only grown in one village in France. It’s called Marsannay Chardonnay Rosé, and 2014 is its first and only vintage so far, producing a mere two barrels of wine. A wine barrel holds the equivalent of roughly 300 bottles of wine, so around 600 bottles were produced.

Marsannay Chardonnay Rosé is a genuine pink Chardonnay, but plenty of winemakers blend white and red wine to make a pink Chardonnay. It isn’t truly pink Chardonnay, but realistically most people will never have the opportunity to taste the real thing. Of course, the pink Chardonnay grape was a random genetic mutation, so who’s to say it hasn’t happened before or won’t happen again? Until then, we can only hope the original winemaker plants a larger crop.

What Can I Do To Make My Chardonnay Red Or Pink?

To make your Chardonnay red or pink, you could simply add red wine to it. There’s no guarantee that your favorite red wine and favorite Chardonnay will create a masterpiece, though. Wine blends are widely available. However, and the winemakers have already chosen complimentary wines. 

Sometimes people think red wines have food dye added to achieve the right intensity. That might be true in some cheap ones, but it’s pretty rare. You can add food-safe coloring to Chardonnay if it’s only the color that’s important. Food dye can change the taste of the wine, but changing the wine’s color can also change your perception of taste. Be careful not to use too much because it could stain your lips and tongue.


Chardonnay wines are never a deep red, but they can be pink. Marsannay Chardonnay Rosé is an extremely rare pink Chardonnay that exists due to a genetic mutation in the Chardonnay grape, giving it pink skin. For most people, the only pink Chardonnay available is wine blends, which have their fair share of great wines.