WINE AROMAS MEMO

Here is a guide on wine aromas and flavours. What is the difference between an aroma and a flavour? Aroma is just the term used to define what you smell, and flavour is the term used to define what you taste.


PRIMARY AROMAS AND FLAVOURS

They come from the grapes. Major families of primary aromas:


FRUITY

citrus: lemon, grapefruit, orange

exotic fruits: pineapple, lychee, melon

stone fruits: peach, apricot, plum

pome fruits: apple, pear, fresh grape, quince

red fruits: strawberry, redcurrant, raspberry, cherry

black fruits: blackberry, blackcurrant


FLORAL

acacia, white flowers, orange blossom, rose, violet


HERBACEOUS

bell pepper, cut grass, mint, eucalyptus


MINERAL

flint, iodine, petrol


BOTRYTIS

honey, dried apricot, ginger


AMYLIC

banana, bubble gum



SECONDARY AROMAS AND FLAVOURS

They come from winemaking decisions. Major families of secondary aromas:

MALOLACTIC

milk, butter, cream


YEASTS AND LEES

biscuit, brioche, pastry, almond


OAK

clove, coconut, vanilla, smoke, toast, cocoa, cedar


OXIDATION

caramel, walnut, coffee



TERTIARY AROMAS AND FLAVOURS

They come from bottle ageing. Major families of tertiary aromas:

FRUITY

dried fruits: prune, dried apricot, raisin

cooked fruits: kirsch, plum jam


SPICY

pepper, liquorice, gingerbread


ANIMAL

leather, game, musk


EARTHY

mushroom, truffle, forest floor


OXIDATION

caramel, walnut, coffee


OTHER

dried flowers, honey, petrol, tobacco



FAULTS

They can come from different sources, but are not necessarily wanted by winemakers ;). Some of them, like Brettanomyces, can be pleasant at low levels for some tasters.

OXIDATION

vinegar, nail polish, rotten apple


REDUCTION

rubber, onion, sulfur, rotten egg


TCA

cork, mold


BRETTANOMYCES

barnyard

UNDER-RIPE GRAPES

cat pee



Discover our blind tasting wine boxes to practise wine aromas and flavours!