Where do wine aromas come from?

Where do wine aromas come from?



Wine drinking is a multidimensional experience, and is savored by all our senses. The ability to identify the subtlest of flavors and aromas takes a bit of practice but only adds to the pleasure with time. The physical pleasures of the flavor and aroma of wine do also carry a psychological element. In fact, scents that are experienced with wine carry a science that falls back on your archived scents, a fact that renders the ability to identify aromas to be quite relative. The volatile compounds that you sense are similarly found in other fruits or foods that you’ve previously experienced. Interestingly enough, the aromas you identify in a glass of wine might not be the same ones someone else would first pick up from that same bottle.

The aromatic complex coming from wine is mainly due to the grape variety, terroir, and oak. Young wines are generally known to exhibit primary aromas that mainly come from the fruit; such as notes of berry and black cherry. When it comes to white wine, the primary aromas range between citrus to tropical fruits. Additionally, floral and licorice notes are also sensed in a young wine. Coffee, vanilla, or chocolate notes that come from oak are generally considered secondary aromas that come with the aging process.

A great way to pick favorites when it comes to wine is to know a few categories that are based on aroma (setting aside taste, body and color). One way is to identify whether the aroma you’ve identified is off a black or red fruit (in the case of red wine) or, in the case of white wine, a citrus or tree fruit. Based on the notes that you prefer, you can make your selection from the wines that are famous for carrying that specific aroma. 

The aroma, though complex, is only part of the entire wine experience, and with time will only serve to enhance it. Keep this in mind with your next selection of wine from 209, and enjoy the discovery! 

 

July 25, 2017 — 209 Lebanese Wine
A Wine affair… Pairing herbs with wine

A Wine affair… Pairing herbs with wine


Why is wine-herb pairing a good idea? It’s one more way you could enjoy your wine drinking experience. By pairing the right wine with the right dish, the flavors are balanced and you’d be able to discover the pleasure of the basic flavors in a meal, as well as the complex combinations that are created. The cornerstone of pairing wine with herbs actually comes down to the aromatic compounds found in both. In fact, it is better to pair the wine with the sauce than with the meat mainly because that is what is more likely to exude the dominant flavor.

When it comes to food, you’re mainly looking to complement the dish with a contrasting wine for balance, or enhancing the flavors of the dish by going for a wine that is a similar match. Imagine yourself having a nice warm plate of macaroni and cheese with a beautiful, creamy, béchamel sauce. On one hand, the acidity in a good Sauvignon Blanc would be a complementary match since it balances the fat in the dish. On the other hand, a creamy Viognier or Chardonnay would actually enhance the flavors in your plate. This is an example of how two different options of white wine can make for two very different food experiences. It really does come down to personal preference.

Taking this a step further first requires that you become familiar with the popular herbs and ingredients used in different cuisines. The Mediterranean cuisine, for example, is famous for using garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, and mint among other herbs. Garlic pairs well with fruity, and dry wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, or Pinot Noir, and Syrah, if you’re looking to have red wine. Syrah actually pairs well with most of the mentioned herbs, especially with basil and rosemary. Thyme and oregano are earthy herbs and would also pair well with Pinot Noir.

Tasting does take a little practice, but will eventually make for an enjoyable experience. The next time you sit down for a meal, try to isolate the predominant herbs in the dish, and experiment with wine flavors. There really is nothing like the perfect match.
January 16, 2017 — 209 Lebanese Wine