During a wine tasting, all our senses are used to to perceive color, aromas, texture and flavor of wine. For this, it is necessary to carry out a detailed examination of its different characteristics by carrying out a visual, olfactory and taste analysis.
As mentioned above, the second step in tasting is the olfactory examination. During this analysis, aromatic potency and quality will be analyzed. Wine aromas are influenced by different stages of winemaking, starting with vineyard, which is influenced by vine microclimate , the type of soil in the vineyard, the harvest year and the viticulture practices carried out. .
On the other hand, during winemaking the aroma is affected by the type of grape or grapes which it was produced, the winemaking practices and the storage and aging conditions. After knowing the factors that affect the organoleptic characteristics of wine, it is time to learn about the different aromas that can be perceived it and where do they come from.
Types of aromas in wine
Wine presents different aromas from different origins, the fruity aromas are perceived when is uncovered a bottle, while the secondary and tertiary aromas are perceived when the wine is oxygenated.
In the primary aromas, fruits, flowers and vegetables stand out.
Secondary aromas are those that come from alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, and are mainly dairy.
Finally, the tertiary ones present aromas of aging such as wood or toasted.
Primary aromas are those that come from grape variety, these are classified into three categories: Fruit, Floral and Vegetable. Among the fruit trees, citrus fragrances, exotic fruits, fruit with seeds, red and black berries, stone fruits and nuts predominate.
Generally, fresh flowers such as hawthorn, acacia, linden, honey, white and red rose, jasmine, violet, lavender, among others, are perceived in the floral aromas.
Finally, in the last category “Vegetables”, green pepper, mushroom, truffle, cedar, licorice, pine, etc. are usually detected. Among the vegetable aromas there are also spices such as cloves, black, red and white pepper, saffron, thyme, hay and vanilla.
Secondart and Tertiary aromas
The secondary and tertiary aromas are made up of aromas from fermentation and aging; where milk, nuts, butter, caramel, wood, coffee, etc. predominate.
While the alcoholic fermentation process takes place, characteristic aromas of the wine are generated. These include yeast, bread, cookies, and pastry products.
On the other hand, some wines go through a process known as malolactic fermentation (MLF), where malic acid is transformed into lactic acid. This type of fermentation is carried out in order to generate greater structure and aromatic complexity in the wine. Wines that have been through the MLF often have dairy aromas such as cream, butter, milk, aged cheeses, yogurt, and milk chocolate.
Aging aromas are generated from the wood of the barrel and from the reactions that take place during this process. Among the most common are caramel, different types of wood, coffee, smoked items, toast, nuts such as hazelnut and almond, coconut and dark chocolate.
Finally, we will talk about wine defects, which show that wine is not in good condition and , indicating that it has suffered some deficiency in one or more phases during winemaking. One way to detect these defects is identifying scents such as onion, cork, vinegar, sulfur, rotten egg, ammonia, mold, acetone, and rotten apple. On some occasions, it is possible to perceive unpleasant aromas in organic or biodynamic wines. However, it does not mean that these wines have deffects, but that due to their ecological process they limit or avoid the use of sulfites and it is possible that these types of odors exist.
Due to its origin and type of artisan production, wine tends to evolve in its different stages of production and during tasting. A large number of aromas can be perceived in it, which we would not have imagined could be found in a glass of wine. Now that you know some of the aromas of wine and where they come from, it’s time to taste and try to perceive as much as possible and understand why they are there.