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carmine red (GB)

Colour designation (also crimson red) for a red wine in the context of a wine-appeal. The name of the red grape variety Carmenère is probably also derived from it. Crimson is an organic pigment of red colour; the name is derived from the Arabic-Persian "kermes" for scarlet berry. To obtain the red pigment, dried female cochineal scale insects are boiled in water with the addition of some sulphuric acid. The insects absorb the substance by sucking the juice of prickly pear cacti (opuntia). This dye was already known to the Incas. The scale insects were then brought from South America to Europe by the Spaniards and bred on Gran Canaria. The dye is used in the production of Campari and also in cosmetics (lipstick). Today, however, it is mainly produced synthetically. For wine colour, see also colour, blue, black and white.

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