Welcome back to the second part of our Wine tasting guide! This week we will be taking a look at the aromatic character of a wine! Most of the pleasure of drinking wine comes from the aromas of a wine and the characteristics and differences of the grape varieties. So, let’s get cracking!
So, hold your glass rim near your nose and take a small sniff to get a sense of the pronounced aromas at first. Then, give your glass a little swirl to help release more aromas into your glass and give it another sniff.
Firstly, you note the Condition and the aroma Intensity of the wine and then we get to break down the wine aromas into categories.
These are the aromas that come from the grape variety.
Some Primary aromas are: Floral, Green fruit, Citrus fruit, Stone fruit, Tropical fruit, Red fruit, Black fruit, Dried/Cooked fruit, Herbaceous, Herbal, Spices. Yes, I know there are quite a few!
If you pick up a fruit aroma in your wine, try if possible, to distinguish the condition of the fruit eg: Fresh cherry, Ripe cherry, Dried cherry etc
These are aromas that come from post-fermentation.
ome of the aromas you should be looking for are:
- Yeast aromas: Biscuit, Bread, Pastry, Brioche
- MLF aromas: Butter, Cheese, Cream
- Oak aromas: Vanilla, Toast, Cedar, Coffee, Smoke, Chocolate
These are aromas that come from ageing or oxidation.
Some of the aromas you should be looking for here are:
- Deliberate Oxidation aromas: Almond, Marzipan, Hazelnut, Caramel
- Fruit Development aromas (White wine): Dried apricot, Marmalade
- Fruit Development aromas (Red wine): Figs, Prunes, Dried Blackberries/Cranberries
- Bottle Ageing aromas (White wine): Petrol, Kerosene, Honey, Mushroom
- Bottle Ageing aromas (Red wine): Leather, Forest floor, Earth, Mushroom, Tobacco, Vegetal
So, lets break the above into steps for when assessing the Nose of a wine!
- CONDITION: Is the wine CLEAN or FAULTY
- INTENSITY of wine aromas: LIGHT – MEDIUM – PRONOUNCED
- AROMAS: PRIMARY – SECONDARY – TERTIARY AROMAS
- DEVELOPMENT: YOUTHFULL – DEVELOPING – FULLY DEVELOPED – PAST ITS TIME
Try and practise your smelling skills with a friend to make it fun by using the above steps and I’ll see you soon for our final step in our wine tasting journey!
I will definitely be practising!