More white wine aromas to expand your capabilities

aromas sommelier Tasterplace whitewine


It is very important to create in our memory a wide database of smelling references that we are able to recognize in the food and wine that we consume. Without this “aroma database” we would not be able to recognize a smell when we perceive it. 

For this reason, we decided to increase the number of wine aromas and we created a 24-aroma set. We already introduced the 24 aromas of red wine a few weeks ago, and we are now introducing the 24 white wine aromas. This 24-white-wine-aroma set has:

  • the same 12 aromas included in our standard white wine aroma set (Lemon, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Pear, Green apple, Acacia, Sage, Black currant buds, Chalk, Honey, Butter and Bread crust).
  • plus other 12 new aromas: Mango, Peach, Passion fruit, Melon, Lichee, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Linden, Hawthorn, Hay, Almond and Cookie.

Let’s talk about these new aromas.

Mango. This is one of the aromas most used to describe a white wine with a strong tropical fruit bouquet. It is usually found in wines coming from regions with warm weather. It can be detected in many wines, including sauvignon blanc, viognier, white muscat, soave, vermentino and others.

Peach.  It is an aroma often found in white wines coming from warm weather regions. It is in fact true that many whites have citrus and green apple aromas when they come from cool weather regions, while the have peach and apricot aromas when they come from warmer areas. You may find this wine easely in ripe riesling (es. Rheingau), New World chardonnay, Champagne, albarinho, gruner veltliner, madeira, sauvignon blanc.

Passion fruit. It is tropical fruit note present in many white wines. It is considered to be a varietal aroma of Sauvignon Blanc wines, especially those coming from Australia and New Zeland, but the chemical compounds responsible for this aroma (the 4-metil-4-mercaptopentan-2-one and the 3-MH acetate) have been found also in many other white wines: sauvignon blanc, scheurebe, maccabeo, gewurztraminer, riesling, muscat, colombard, petit manseng, tokay, petite arvine, semillon, verdejo, chenin blanc, and viogner.

Melon. This is another tropical fruit note that can be detected in many white wines. Its perfume is well known to most people as it reminds of a mix of fruit salad, ice cream and candies. The melon aroma is found in the wines made of albarinho, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, vermentnio. This aroma, with other tropical fruits, can be part of warm climate Chardonnay.

Lichee. This fruit aroma is sometimes difficult to detect because it is an aroma that we are not used to smell very often in our everyday life. It is considered to be a varietal aroma of gewürztraminer, and a key aroma of the white muscat bouquet. It can be found also in sweet wines made with passito/dried grapes or in other dry white whites.   

Flowers. All the flower notes are difficult to be recognized in a wine, because we are not to smell different flowers very often. Here are some of the flower notes used to describe the aromas of a white wine:

  • Honeysuckle is a small flower with a very powerful perfume. It can be found in many white wines, such as white muscat, greco and albarinho.
  • Jasmine is of the most known flowers, as it is very diffused. It can be found in many white wines, such as ribolla gialla, gewürztraminer, vermentino, fiano.
  • Linden has a strong smell often identified with the smell of honey. It is a typical aroma of prosecco, ribolla gialla and verdicchio.
  • Hawthorn is well defined aroma, recalling the smell of anise and almond. It can be found in many white wines, mainly the ones made of chardonnay and coming from Burgundy, USA and Australia.

Hay. It is considered to be tertiary aroma due to bottle aging or to deliberate oxidation. Hay can recall a dried herbaceous or vegetative aroma in wine, in the same category as notes like straw, tobacco and tea. It's usually expressed by white wines that are losing the fresh fruit aromas because of aging, and it's found alongside herbs and honey aromas.

Almond. This aroma can be found in many white wines, such as soave, cava, chardonnay, verdicchio, sweet wines and others. Nevertheless, it is considered to be tertiary aroma due to bottle aging or to deliberate oxidation.

Cookie. This aroma is typical aroma due to yeast (lees, autolysis) together with the aromas of bread, toast, pastry, brioche, and bread. It is often found in champagne, prosecco and cava wines.

These new 12 white wine aromas add to the original ones to create a 24 aroma set which gives a good overview of the aromas which can be found in a white wine. To be able to recognize and to describe wine aromas is an important task because it can help us understand the grapes varieties used, the wine making process, the aging stage, the terroir where the grapes is grown.  In fact, the aromas can be:

  • Due to the grape and perceived directly in the grape or grape must: Green Bell Pepper in Cabernet, Rose in Moscato, Rose and Orange Blossom in Gewürztraminer, and others.
  • Perceived in the wine after fermentation:White fruit and Tropical fruit, Citrus, Red fruit, Flowers, Herbaceous and Herbal, Spice and others.
  • From yeast (lees, autolysis, flor) and Malolactic fermentation:Bread, Biscuit, Toast, Butter, Cream, and others.
  • From oak barrel wood aging:Vanilla, Cloves, Nutmeg, Smoked, Charred wood, Toast, Chocolate, Coffee and Resinous.
  • From oxidation or maturation in red wines: Cooked plum, Dried prune, Cooked red fruit, Leather, Tobacco, Mushroom, Chocolate, Coffee and others.

Train your sense of smell with TasterPlace aromas.

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