The scent of strawberry in red wines can be that of the fresh fruit or an almost wild strawberry, or that of an overripe strawberry or a jam. It is a well-recognized aroma that recalls candy and sweets, and almost everyone can recognize it even if smelled blindly: it is one of the best identified of the berries.
In wines, the strawberry aroma is present due to the fermentation process and is therefore considered a secondary aroma. This aroma can be found in many wines obtained from different grape varieties. Some grape varietal examples are Pinot Noir from the Alto Adige region and others, Gamay / Beaujolais, and in some wines with a robust body such as Primitivo, Nero D’avola, Aglianico and Merlot.
The molecule responsible for the aroma is furaneol, which has two important characteristics that contribute to making the bouquet of a wine interesting. The first characteristic is that it releases its aromatic potential gradually over time, giving longevity to the fruity bouquet of some red wines. This is a great benefit for a wine whose “duration” over the years is determined by the speed with which the fruity bouquet tends to fade and be overwhelmed by oxidative and tertiary aromatic notes.
The second, is that the smell of furaneol in high concentrations evolves towards caramel notes. This is linked to the physiology of our sense of smell. Our brain perceives some smells in a different way when a particular molecule is found in high concentration. Furaneol is one of these. Wines from particular grape varietals with this molecule in high concentrations due to the warmer climate where they are grown or to being subjected to drying processes, are enriched with notes of caramelized fruit.
Click here to discover the strawberry aroma in the TasterPlace Red Wine Aromas