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Wine Flavors

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Wine Flavors: What’s Right? What’s Wrong?

Learn where wine flavors come from, how to smell them, and what flavors to expect in Cabernet, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.Understanding the flavors in wine starts with a seemingly simple question:

Where do wine flavors come from?

Imagine yourself the size of a single atom floating on the surface of a glass of wine. Down at this level, the surface of wine is quite turbulent.

Alcohol Evaporation Diagram by Wine Folly

Ethanol molecules lift off from the surface of the liquid during evaporation, carrying with them a slew of other aromatic compounds. These compounds float into our noses and give wine its many flavors.

Wine Flavors in Pinot Noir Wine versus Pinot Noir Juice - Diagram by Wine Folly

But this doesn’t explain why Pinot Noir juice smells nothing like Pinot Noir wine.

Wine flavors are created by chemical reactions during fermentation (when yeast turns sugar into alcohol). Fermentation creates hundreds of flavor compounds.

If cherries aren’t an ingredient in wine, then how come some wines smell like cherries?

At the atomic level, aromatic compounds in wine look identical to – or are mirror images of– smells you already know. When you sniff cherry in wine, you are smelling the identical aroma compounds that also waft from a freshly baked cherry pie. (Egads, now I’m hungry!)

Here are common wine flavors by category:

Common Fruit Flavors Found in Red Wine - Infographic by Wine Folly

FRUIT

Red wines typically smell like various berries, cherries, and plums.

Common Fruit Flavors Found in White Wine - Infographic by Wine Folly

White wines typically smell like citrus fruits, tree fruits (peaches, apples, pears), and melons.

FLOWER / HERB

Both red and white wines can have subtle (or not-so-subtle) aromas of fresh flowers, roses, green herbs, leaves, green vegetables, and/or stems.

OTHER

Don’t be surprised if you get whiffs of cheese, bread, milk, butter, bacon fat, petrol, nail polish, potting soil, or petrichor (smells like freshly wetted asphalt in the summer – side note: I’m addicted to this smell…).

AGING / OAK

Some wine smells come specifically from aging wine (or oaking it) and include vanilla, baking spices, pie crust, caramel, Maillard Reaction (the “brown butter” smell), tobacco, cedar, coffee, leather, creosote, and chocolate.


Cabernet Sauvignon Flavors

Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes - Illustration by Wine Folly


Shiraz Flavors

Shiraz Tasting Notes - Illustration by Wine Folly


Chardonnay Flavors

Chardonnay Tasting Notes - Illustration by Wine Folly


Sauvignon Blanc Flavors

Sauvignon Blanc Tasting Notes - Illustration by Wine Folly


If I smell cherries and you smell pepper, who’s right?

Look at your nose. Now imagine (or look at) someone else’s nose. (Don’t stare!) They look pretty different right?

Wine Noses Illustration by Wine Folly
Love your sniffer!

Differences in our physical attributes, along with how our brains process smells, partially explain why we each pick out different wine flavors and smells.

 

https://winefolly.com


 

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Benefits of wine….

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What 2 glasses of wine can offer your body???

The anticoagulant substances contained in wine help reduce blood clotting.

  • Alcohol consumption can improve HDL (good cholesterol) levels and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, thus improving the lipid profile. Together with its anticoagulant properties, wine is the ideal ally in the battle against cardiovascular diseases.
  • Wine does not only bring joy, it also helps the mind! According to a study, people who had consumed a moderate quantity of wine achieved higher scores in IQ and EQ tests.
  • Drinking alcohol with food does not significantly affect blood sugar levels. As a matter of fact, a study by the American Diabetes Association has shown that the combination can reduce the likelihood of type II diabetes.
  • Wine consumption reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The anti-cancer substances contained in wine, such as melatonin, resveratrol and other, reduce the likelihood of breast and upper gastrointestinal cancer. They also reduce the likelihood of lung cancer by 13%.

Furthermore, drinking 4 glasses of wine per week reduces the likelihood of prostate cancer by half.

  • According to an American study, drinking wine protects the eyes against macular degeneration.
  • Spanish researchers have found that people who drink two glasses of wine per day have 44% less chance of catching a cold.
  • Certain wine varieties contain melatonin which controls the human biological clock. So a small glass of wine helps you sleep better at night.
  • Wine consumption promotes longevity.
  • The anti-inflammatory action of alcohol improves the body’s overall health and wellbeing.

 

Source: Wines of Crete

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