The aromas of wine: choosing the right organic wine according to its nose
Tastes and colors are indisputable! Even if that doesn't prevent us from being able to discuss the subject, at the table, around a bottle of good Oé wine. To tell you more, we suggest you do a topo on the aromas of organic wine and explain to you why we all perceive them with nuances that are unique to us.
What is an aroma?
Definition of an aroma
Let's go back to the basics. “ An aroma is an odorous principle that escapes from different substances of plant or animal origin: The aroma of coffee, for example. ” Thanks to the Larousse dictionary for the definition ;)
The aromas of wine: memories of our olfactory memory
When we talk about aromas , we are talking about smells , memories and sensations… Have you ever played the smell bingo ? This game where you have to guess what's hiding inside each little box just by trusting your nose . Very often, the wood fire reminds us of winter evenings or red fruits; the citrus fruits have the air of soap and the biscuits take us, in one bite, to our adored grandma.
For all these moments, we can thank our nose and its memory as well as the aromas that emerge from each element to make us travel, to transport us in our memories.
The different types of wine aromas
The palette of wine aromas is vast. Fortunately for us, these aromas have been classified so that we can see a little more clearly:
- Floral aromas : these aromas inspire us on Saturday mornings at the florist to choose a bouquet for mom. We can find for example notes of roses , peonies , violets but also dried flowers .
- Fruity aromas : bite into life to the fullest as you bite into an apple! It's a bit like this “wow” effect that you can feel when you taste a fruity wine . Red wines are more rich in aromas of red fruits or black fruits (strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, blackberry, etc.), while white wines are more pronounced in aromas of white fruits and exotic fruits (peach, apricot, pineapple, lychee, etc.). .
- Plant aromas : the primary aromas of hay, blackcurrant buds and fresh grass transport you to your childhood garden. The tertiary plant aromas , of mushroom, humus, truffle and undergrowth remind some of us of the forest of family walks.
- Mineral aromas : this aromatic palette generally applies to white wines and offers original and highly appreciated sensations in the mouth such as pebble, gunflint, iodine or chalk.
- Spicy aromas : the next time you are told “do you want a cinnamon tea?” Do not hesitate to answer that you prefer a glass of wine with cinnamon aromas . Because yes, it is possible, for certain white wines, and there is also clove or vanilla (due to the aging of the oak barrel). Red wines can offer you aroma sensations of pepper , thyme , nutmeg or licorice .
- Chemical aromas : we reassure you, your favorite winegrower does not turn into a Panoramix to concoct his wine. The so- called chemical aromas are completely natural, such as sulfur or yeast . Others, found in white wines, are even considered milky and have a breakfast feel: with notes of brioche , butter , milk or bread .
- “Animal” aromas : certain red wines, especially when aged in oak barrels , can develop rather surprising aromas such as leather , fur , game or meat juice . We grant you, the “meat juice” aroma is very surprising, but we found an article to enlighten you on the subject .
- Balsamic aromas : aging in oak barrels also allows the balsamic aromas to express themselves and this time, the white wines also benefit from it, no jealousy! New wood , turpentine , resin , vanilla or pine can therefore tickle your nostrils.
- Empyreumatic aromas : admit that slipping this word during a tasting with friends has a small effect, doesn't it? These aromas, called tertiary , count in their ranks, mocha , toasted bread , toasted bread or mocha . Even more surprising, the aromas of tobacco , tar , cigar or caramel can invite themselves into your glass of red wine .
What is the role of wine aromas?
One glass, two glasses... When you are well accompanied, you rarely have trouble tasting it or even finishing the bottle... And by leaning a little more over the glass, the nose reveals a large part of the secrets of the wine. wine .
The aromas of wine: the mouth and the nose are alert
The mouth is a faithful ally to appreciate the wine. It allows us to feel the astringency due to the tannins, and, thanks to the tongue, to taste the acidity , the sweetness, the bitterness of organic wine ... The nose is also a super hero of the tasting .
And yes, when we drink wine, all our senses are awakened. Have you noticed during a tasting that some people lean their glass closer to their nose? Smelling a wine is a bit like reading the summary on the back of a book or watching a movie trailer. It allows you to have a first approach to wine , to understand its identity, and to discover some of the flavors it can offer you.
The aromas of wine revealed thanks to our olfactory memory
When we talk about aromas in wine, we refer to smells that remind us of what we smell or taste. For example, if we say of a wine that it has aromas of exotic fruits or of undergrowth , that means that we have a feeling close to that which we have when we taste an exotic fruit or when we breathe the air of an undergrowth during a walk. As you can imagine, that does not mean that we put a little grandmother foliage in the wine, but that our olfactory memory transports us to a place, or reminds us of a memory with a simple smell.
You can find quite surprising combinations of aromas in certain grape varieties . For example, for red wines you can find:
Discover our Syrah-based nuggets
For white wine you can let yourself be tempted by:
- Gewurztraminer and its aromas of rose, gingerbread, cinnamon and grilled dried fruit
The appellation of a wine can give you indications on the aromas that you can find when tasting it.
Where do the aromas in wine come from?
Aromas in wine are classified into three categories: primary, secondary and tertiary.
- The grape variety and the terroir are the first actors to play a role. Thanks to them, a bouquet of floral , fruity , vegetal and mineral notes are expressed depending on the variety of the grape and the composition of the soil .
- The different stages of fermentation transform the juice into wine thanks to the yeasts. It begins to take shape and that's when a sweet, fruity and milky aromatic note (butter, milk, cream or sometimes even bread) comes to life.
- Have you ever heard of a woody or resinous wine ? Well it's due to its aging , which can be done in oak barrels for example. Aging purifies the wine (via racking). It ages and develops its aromas. It also allows him to rest to prepare the blends. Aging can be done in stainless steel vats, steel vats, concrete vats and amphora, which allows the fruitiness of the wine to be preserved. It can also be made in barrels (Burgundy) and barrels (Bordeaux), for small volumes of wine. The barrel is a good option to have aromatic complexity but is more expensive, more difficult, less hygienic and longer. You too can put yourself in the shoes of a winegrower by working on the aging of your wine to control the aromas you want to give it according to the duration of aging and the container (wooden barrel, bottle, etc.) .
It is said that a wine is mature when it is at the peak of its art, that is to say that it has put on its most beautiful robe and that its fragrance will not leave you indifferent. It is according to the climate , the grape variety and the vinification that the maturity of the wines changes. Pour yourself some wine, tilt your glass slightly and observe the color of your wine. For red wine, if it still looks a little rosé, then it can wait a bit to reach maturity. If it has rather caramel or amber reflections, we are rather on an experienced wine, a wine that has bottle. For white wines, they will tend to yellow over time and become almost golden for the sweeter ones. A beautiful color that organic wine lovers love to taste.
What if you don't perceive the same aromas as the others?
The rule for wine aromas is that there are none. Finally yes, but we will explain the subtlety to you right away. In fact, there is a rational explanation for the aromas and sensations that can be felt when tasting our wine. Science is science my captain, and fortunately, we are all different, and therefore, we can perceive different aromas.
So, if your neighbor says to you: “ Mmh, I find this organic wine very aromatic and fruity with its notes of forest fruits ” and in your head you say to yourself: “ Weird, for my part, the notes of this wine reminiscent of my grandmother's garden with its fleshy and juicy cherries... Am I on the wrong track? ”
Don't panic, it's the feeling that counts. Depending on your olfactory memory, your brain does not call on the same memories as the neighbor. This is why you will not always have the same characteristics and aromas in mind during your tastings as your neighbour.
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