Hello Wine Nerds! Oh you know who you are! I’m writing to you, to those that like to impress people, every time you taste a wine. You like swirling your wine in your glass and start talking about aromatics, while the rest of us stay there wondering… is my nose working correctly? All I smell is wine... Of course, there is no problem with your nose! All you need to do is to train it, and this is done by smelling, and not only wine, but by smelling fruits, flowers, soils, foods, etc.
But to help you with this task, I decided to create this cheat sheet by grape, so you too can impress your friends. Though, I always mention the flavor profile of each grape that I write about, this info is also ideal if you are learning about wine or writing tasting notes.
Cabernet Sauvignon: black currant, cassis, violets, black cherry, cigar box, cedar wood, green bell pepper (when unripe), tobacco, mint (especially Cabs from Australia)
Merlot: plums, fruit cake, black cherry, blueberry damson, cloves, bay leaf, chocolate
Gamay: cherries, bubble gum, banana, pomegranate, peony
Shiraz/ Syrah: black pepper, blueberry, black licorice, leather, smoke, mulberry, milk chocolate, tobacco
Cabernet Franc: red currants, cherries, strawberries, grass and green leaves, green pepper, pencil shavings
Pinot Noir: strawberries, cherries, earth compost/forest floor, gamey meat, truffles, mushroom
Nebbiolo: tar, roses, violets, leather, truffles
Grenache: raspberries, strawberries jam, leather, dried herbs
Zinfandel: blackberries, prunes, raisins, tobacco, cinnamon, dried figs
Sangiovese: red cherries, oregano, tomato jam, vanilla, balsamic
Tempranillo: strawberries, red cherries, plum jam, tobacco, dill
Mourvèdre: blackberries, tobacco, licorice, cocoa
Malbec: blackberry, damson, violet, tobacco, cocoa
Petit Verdot: plum, black cherry, pepper, licorice, violet
Pinotage: mulberry, blackberry, black cherry, menthol
Chardonnay: butter, apple (green and yellow), peach, pineapple, vanilla, lemon, lime
Sauvignon Blanc: gooseberries, grass, green pepper, passion fruit, grapefruit
Semillon: lanolin, honey, egg custard, peach
Chenin Blanc: yellow apple, grapefruit, honey, orange, quince
Riesling: petrol, lime, green apples, jasmine, honey
Gewurztraminer: lychees, roses, ginger
Viognier: apricots, peach, rose, tangerine
Pinot Gris/Grigio: honey, pear, yellow apple
Well, isn't it time to open a few bottles and put our skills to the test? Let me know how it went.
Here are two Chilean recommendations from Global Vineyards.
Escarlata Pinot Noir 2020, expressive red features black cherry, wild herbs and strawberry notes, with smooth tannins. This is ideal for the current fall weather, that is not too hot or too cold.
Escarlata Chardonnay 2020, full bodied and creamy white shows pineapple, peach and almond notes. Both are a great value @ only $12 each.
Until next time. Cheers! Silvina
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