How Does Wine Have So Many Different Flavours?
A question that everyone has pondered at some point is how do all those weird and wonderful flavours you get into your glass from just grapes.
The more you drink the more you notice all those subtle flavours, like cherries, spice, vanilla, etc. We know, or at least presume that winemakers don’t throw in all these ingredients. So how does your wine taste of all these wonderful flavours?
Grapes are a very delicate fruit and incredibly impressionable. Every step of the wine making process can change the way wine smells and tastes when it comes out of the bottle and into your glass.
The process begins in the vineyard, naturally enough, where good farming helps make great wine. It’s at this stage where the grapes are in contact with the elements that will have shape everything about the grape. Even the insects are important especially bees, the bees will fly around leaving their pollen from all the wild herbs, flowers and grass on the grapes. The grapes will then absorb all these subtle flavours as they grow and this is one of many reasons each vineyard have very distinctive wines.
The elements affect the wine.
For example in some regions the white wine is grown right on the coast or on cliffs overlooking the sea. As the waves crash into the rocks sea-salt is sprayed on the grapes giving them a fantastic mineral taste. It’s almost like tasting a fresh sea breeze.
The next step is taken the grapes from vineyard to the cellar. Even the time of day that the grapes are picked can have an influence. How the grapes are pressed or whether the grapes are left to age in steel or oak barrels. How long they are left to age will aid in the imparting of all sorts of flavours and smells.
As you can tell already there are thousands of variants when producing wine, even from just one vineyard. So its easy to see how we ended up with such a massive variety of wines in the local off-license.
So the next time you open a bottle take a moment to appreciate the smells and tastes and see what flavours you get. Take about 3 or 4 sips before you decide what you are getting. See if it matches up with the label description. Finally, make sure you explore different wines. Don’t always pick the same grape variety or country, you will be well rewarded.