During the wine tasting, we encounter different interpretations when describing a wine, as we discover different aromas each time. While you can feel the aroma of raspberry in the glass, someone else may be talking about the aromas of blackberry, strawberry or cherry in the same glass. This is not an indication that someone is wrong. In fact, you may both be expressing the same “red fruit” flavors in the glass. Considering that tasting is an individual journey, the first aroma you discover may be different, or you may have chosen different words to express your experiences.
We can collect wine aromas under 3 categories;
Grape-derived aromas. These aromas come from the type of grape to be made and the climate in which it is grown. If we want to generalize further, we can say that fruit flavors in wine are primary flavors.
These are the flavors formed during the fermentation stage. These flavors come from the fermentation process (yeasts). For example, the smell of “sourdough” defined as “bready” or “leavened”, as well as smells such as beer or cheese can be evaluated in this category. Another common secondary flavor is the flavor of yogurt or sour cream from malolactic fermentation.
These are the flavors that develop during aging. The most common example of this is the “vanilla” flavor associated with wines aged in oak. Another example of tertiary flavors is the nutty flavors found in aged champagne. Theoretically speaking, the primary and secondary flavors in young wine develop over time and become drier and more concentrated, creating tertiary aromas.
Wine flavors reveal almost everything about a wine; A trained nose and palate can easily distinguish from grape variety, where the wine comes from or how old it is.
To improve your tasting skills faster, you can start by organizing mini-tasting events where different wines are compared in the same environment. Comparing different wines in the same environment helps you develop your taste buds faster and is also a kind of exercise that will help you distinguish between wine flavors more easily. Remember that when tasting you should always think from general flavors to the more specific ones, i.e. “black berries” to the more specific “dark plum, strawberry or blackberry”.
Another alternative activity where you can improve your tasting skills faster is the exercises you will do with flavor sets. It will be a very enjoyable activity to discover different wine aromas in the same environment by gathering a few friends as well as doing such an activity alone.
Whether you are a novice or a professional in the field of wine tasting, it is possible to increase your pleasure from wine by constantly improving your olfactory memory and aroma knowledge and being able to convey your experiences easily.