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My color descriptions are invariably bad as I have made the inane choice of having nice and cosy, rather than good and efficient lighting in my home...

The WSET uses the following order to describe the color of a wine (reproduced from memory).

Core: Depth of color (light, medium, deep, opaque), Hue (lemon green, ruby, tawny, garnet, etc.)
Rim: Width of rim (thin, medium, wide), hue (watery, purple, ruby, garnet, etc.)

So you end up with a description like the following:

Deep ruby core with a medium garnet rim.
To me, color descriptions convey more than just age. I think of richness, whether I might expect more red fruits than black fruits, etc. It gives me a better overall sense of what to expect. For example, if I read a TN that says a wine is "a light ruby" I might think of a young Burgundy and start thinking of raspberries. It's just part of the sensation, imo.

I typically use the color descriptions from the Windows on the World Wine book.
I have found that color is not generally indicative of quality. With certain varietals, like Pinot, oftentimes there is a direct correlation between color and tannin levels. But that said, I think color is 'used' by tasters to develop pre-conceived notions of a wine prior to tasting it . . .

One last point - color certainly is important to note as you track the aging of a wine . . . oxidation will lead to a premature changing of a red wine to more of a brick color, and a white wine will really become quite amber with oxygen. This therefore can be a clue to the taster . . .

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