How Does Wine Get Aromas and Flavors?






Newcomers to wine usually discover it complicated that wine hardly ever smells or tastes like grapes.

Most white wines scent extra of tree fruits like apples or peaches, whereas purple wines extra usually style extra like berries or cherries. One motive why is that grapes style much less distinctive than another fruits, with a taste that’s much less instantly recognizable than that of an orange or pineapple, as an illustration.

The opposite issue at play is that in fermentation, numerous smaller chemical reactions set off.

This generates taste compounds like esters and aldehydes that add new flavors and smells to the wine, flavors which can not have been current or detectable within the contemporary fruit. Unique phrases are sometimes used to explain these non-grape aromatics, often by naming different fruits, meals or spices that they resemble.

However these usually are not elements added throughout winemaking, simply metaphors used to characterize wine’s various scents by likening them to extra acquainted flavors and smells from elsewhere.

Wine is produced by way of fermentation, a course of wherein residing yeast cultures convert sugar into alcohol.


Fermentation is what makes wine aromatically complicated and gratifying, a lot the best way it does for cheeses. The distinctive flavors of French Brie, Wisconsin Cheddar and Italian Gorgonzola derive totally from fermentation and growing older, not from their uncooked materials — cow’s milk.

Since yeasts can considerably alter the flavors and smells discovered of their uncooked supplies, vintners and cheesemakers alike select their yeast strains fastidiously, to exert management over how their completed merchandise will style and scent. Consider yeast because the magic pixie mud that transforms the standard grape into far more flavorful and sophisticated wine.

Function picture by Kym Ellis on Unsplash.

Marnie Outdated is likely one of the nation’s main wine educators. Previously the director of wine research for Manhattan’s French Culinary Institute, she at the moment serves as director of vinlightenment for Boisset Assortment and is finest identified for her visually partaking books printed by DK: the award-winning infographic Wine: A Tasting Course for freshmen and the tongue-in-cheek He Mentioned Beer, She Mentioned Wine. Learn her current piece, Why We Decant Sure Wines.

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