Tasting wine – The difference between aroma and wine bouquet

Wine bouquet and aroma are two of the most important things to consider when tasting wine, since they determine how it is perceived. While wine aroma is derived from the grape variety, the wine bouquet is traced back to the winemaking process of fermentation and ageing. And they both classify the origin of where the smells come from in wine.

Primary aromas (aka grape variety)

Each grape variety offers a distinctive collection of fundamental smells (set of aromas) when processed into wine. These aromas originate naturally from the grape and are often in the area of fruit odours, herb smells, and floral smells. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon is well known for its aromas of raspberry, green peppercorn, and occasionally violet. The aroma components, which are present in varying amounts in different varietal wines, are the source of the scents. It is true that these scent molecules resemble the odours of actual fruit on a molecular level. So, for instance, the molecule that gives strawberry jam its strawberry-like scent is the same as the compound that gives California Barbera its strawberry-like scent.

Wine aromas are primarily associated with fruit aromas, flower aromas or herbal aromas.

Fruit aromas: strawberry, cherry, raspberry, plum, banana, fig, pineapple, green apple, nectarine, peaches, apricot, orange, cranberry.

Flower aromas: rose, citrus bloom, lavender, lilac, orange blossom, jasmine, linden, honeysuckle, oregano. Herbal aromas: dill, thyme, mint, tobacco, hay, black currant, eucalyptus.


Secondary aromas (aka wine bouquet)

The process of fermenting wine, which effectively converts grape sugars into alcohol, is frequently linked to a particular yeast species called Saccharomyces cerevisiae (essential in winemaking, baking and beer brewing for thousands of years). A class of bouquets known as Secondary Aromas are produced throughout the fermentation process. Secondary scents are probably already recognizable to you, like that of freshly baked sourdough bread.

Wine bouquets can be easily associated with yeast aromas, spice aromas and nut aromas.

Yeast aromas: beer, bread, butter, yoghurt, aged cheese, sourdough. Spice aromas: clove, nutmeg, licorice, cinnamon, pepper, vanilla.

Nut aromas: almond, hazelnut, walnut, coconut.


Tasting wine bouquets and aromas

In  the  Algarve  you  can  fully  experience  wine  by  tasting  different  aromas  and  bouquets  and  exploring  not  only  the regionally-grown grapes native to the terroir (Castelão, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Aragonês, Verdelho, Alvarinho) but also tasting some international varieties (such as french grapes like Syrah, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon).

You can visit Quinta dos Vales Wine Estate and participate in a guided tour that not only introduces you to the Estate, the cellar and winemaking details, but also gives you the opportunity to taste their wines. If you like them – which we guarantee you will – you can buy wine directly in their FarmShop.


Our recommendation? Try these wines and explore the different aromas and bouquets:

Dialog Castelão, White Wine  – a refreshing wine that combines prominent herbaceous and floral notes with aromas of green apple;

Grace Touriga Nacional, Red Wine  – well balanced wine that presents floral aromas with notes of red fruits, redcurrant and spices;

Dialog Alicante Bouschet, Red Wine – complex full-bodied wine with notes of black fruit jam and mint.

Not traveling soon? No worries. Quinta dos Vales offers international shipping, bringing to your doorstep the top-quality wines made in Portugal. Discover the wide range of wines available in the online shop and explore the Estate’s amazing wine.

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