If you are not all that experienced in the world of wine you might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of different flavors that you can get from the wine that you drink. It’s not just about white and red either, there are a number of different flavor profiles that you can get from a fruitiness to a nuttiness to an acidic nature that some people might like. Your wine could be sweet or it could be tart, all of these different descriptors form the basis of your overall wine experience.
Before you learn anything about these flavors you should know where they come from. Basically, ethanol is constantly wafting off of the surface of the wine. This creates smells which, when you consume the wine, translates into flavor. The smells that you get when you sniff a wine are often close to the tastes that you end up enjoying when drink it. For example, a pinot noir can taste like a lot of different things. You get hints of vanilla and cherry, even rose. Some people also report a pleasant soil like flavor profile that adds some earthy texture to the wine.
Now, the question you should be asking is how. How can a wine taste like cherries when no cherries were used in the manufacturing process? This question can be answered by understanding the chemistry of smells. Smells come from atoms that are composed in a certain manner. Red wines tend to contain aromas that are reminiscent of cherries and other kinds of fruits. Hence, what you are smelling isn’t exactly cherry itself, it’s a chemical that is identical in aroma to that of cherries. Red wine just happens to have those same atomic structures and our brain in trying to understand what it is smelling starts to compare it to smells that it is already familiar with.
There are a lot of instances where a wine can have a smell that was specifically imbibed into it for the purposes of making it taste a little different. The aging process of wine can end up creating lots of different and unique flavor profiles such as baking spices, coffee and even things like tobacco and leather. This is how top shelf wines get their flavor. The barrel that they are aged in plays a huge role in this process.
Now, if you want to decide what kind of flavors you want, that is entirely up to you. If you are a little adventurous, try a wine that has some graphite or leather undertones. They taste a lot better than they sound, especially when paired with all of the other marvelous flavors that you can get when you taste a wine. You also need to know the right way to enjoy the flavor of a particular wine. There are a few techniques that you can use that can really bring out the right kind of experience when you are drinking a good Sauvignon Blanc.