Sancerre Wine: A Great French White Wine

An image of two individuals enjoying a glass of Sancerre wine

Sancerre, a medieval town located in the Upper Loire has become home to one of the most notable and praised examples of Sauvignon Blanc. A classic French white wine, Sancerre offers wine lovers a delectable wine experience full of grassy and herbaceous aromas along with pronounced citrus flavours. Below, we’ll guide you through the history of this white wine, its tasting profile, and much more.  The History and Origins of Sancerre Many wine enthusiasts often ask the question: “What is Sancerre?” Sancerre is both a well-known French wine region and a name for white wine. Similar to Champagne, winemakers in this region produce wines of the same name. The most famous is that of white Sancerre. Made entirely using Sauvignon Blanc grapes, it is considered the most recognizable appellation for French Sauvignon Blanc. Legends suggest that winemaking has been a tradition in the Sancerre wine region since the 15th Century. Traditionally, the two main grapevines planted here were Pinot Noir and Gamay. However, due to the region’s cooler continental climate, neither grape varietal had particular success. In the late 1800s, Sancerre plantations also fell susceptible to the Phylloxera epidemic. As a result of this epidemic, many winemakers choose to start over with Sauvignon Blanc, a grape that is better suited to cooler climates.  It wasn’t long before Sancerre’s iteration of Sauvignon Blanc became famous in Paris and across the world as a wine that paired greatly with good food and company.  Sancerre: A Tasting Profile Due to Sancerre’s terroir, this white wine offers a subtle and yet complex flavour profile that often isn’t matched by other Sauvignon Blanc. While styles can vary depending on the producer, there are core aromas and flavours that wine tasters can expect to experience from Sancerre. This light to medium-bodied white wine offers distinct mineral notes due to the region’s flinty soils. The terroir’s gravel and chalk components, on the other hand, are the influence behind the wine’s citrus and floral notes. Other common tasting notes for Sancerre white wine include:  Herbaceous, earthy: grass, chives, thyme, basil, smoke Fruit-forward: lemon, lime, pink grapefruit, green apple, poached pear Sweet (usually from oaked version which is rare): shortbread, lemon curd, brioche This multi-textured wine is often noted for being lively, lengthy and offering lip-smacking acidity. Its depth and complexity firmly place Sancerre wine as one of the ideal iterations of Sauvignon Blanc.  How Does Sancerre Compare to Other Sauvignon Blancs As you may already know, Sauvignon Blanc is cultivated in many regions across the world – from the golden coast of California all the way to New Zealand. While Sancerre is a classic example of Sauvignon Blanc that holds its own in terms of aroma and flavour, there are many other examples of great Sauvignon Blanc. One such example is Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand. This grape variety typically produces an aromatic wine high in acidity. This is true for both regions. However, where the difference lies is in the taste profile. As terroir influences …

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Rosé Wine: Best Food Pairings for This Refreshing Wine

An image of two women enjoying a glass of rosé wine

Rosé wine is crisp and oh so refreshing and is a popular wine choice during the summer months. One fun way to quench your summer thirst is with a vibrant and fruit-forward glass of rosé. Made with red wine grapes such as the popular varietals Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc, Sangiovese etc., this pink-hued wine is produced all over the globe. However, when it comes to selecting a rosé wine, some considerations should be kept in mind.  Rosé wine is crisp and oh so refreshing and is a popular wine choice during the summer months. One fun way to quench your summer thirst is with a vibrant and fruit-forward glass of rosé. Made with red wine grapes such as the popular varietals Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc, Sangiovese etc., this pink-hued wine is produced all over the globe. However, when it comes to selecting a rosé wine, some considerations should be kept in mind.  Below, we will guide you through the various rosé wine production methods, different styles of rosé wine, and which dishes are best paired with this delightful wine.  Understanding Rosé Wine Production Methods Rosé wine has many faces and is more interesting than one might think. Winemakers use various production methods when making rosé wine and knowing the difference between them can make a difference when determining which style you prefer more. There are four main production methods used: limited skin maceration, the “saignée method”, blending, and direct pressing.  Limited Skin Maceration Limited skin maceration is the most popular method used by winemakers during the production of rosé wine. As you may already know, maceration or skin contact after crushing is essential for all wine, except for white wine. The juice and grape skins are left to soak (macerate) until a suitable colour is achieved for the final product.  For rosé wine, the grape skins and juice come into contact for a few hours, typically between 12 and 24 hours. Both the colour and aroma intensity are heavily influenced by the length of the maceration. This is why rosé wines can vary in colour as well, spanning from light blush pink to bright deeper pink. Once maceration is complete, the juice is drawn off the grape skins and the fermentation process begins.  Saignée Method Also referred to as the ‘bleeding’ method, the saignée method is often used in the regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy.  Originally, this method was used as a way of concentrating red wine. Winemakers would vinify a red wine to standard and then during the maceration process would remove some juice. The ‘bled’ or removed juice is then separately used to produce rosé wine. Rosé wine produced using the saignée method can often be a lot richer in style.  Blending Using the blending method in the production of rosé wines is somewhat controversial, especially in the European Union. The blending of rosé wine involves the mixing of white and red wine post-fermentation which is strictly prohibited, except in the Champagne …

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Top 4 Canadian Wine Regions to Put On Your Travel List

An image of a group of friends enjoying glasses of Canadian wine

Canada is home to more than just maple syrup and ice hockey. It also holds its own when it comes to high-quality wine production. While many know Canada for its ice wine, there are numerous regions across the country that make other styles of wine deserving of equal admiration for their passionate and long-standing winemaking traditions. This article will list the top Canadian wine regions that wine enthusiasts should consider for their next wine trip or tasting. Discovering Canadian Wine: It’s More Than Just Ice Wine  When you think of prolific wine-growing regions around the globe, Canada isn’t usually the first to pop to mind. However, that isn’t to say that this country doesn’t contribute wonderful examples of high-quality wines. Many regions across the country – especially British Columbia and Ontario – have a growing wine industry that has caught the attention of wine experts and enthusiasts globally.  Canadians have been producing wines for over two hundred years. But, it has only been in recent decades with the introduction of new technologies, grape varietals and a better understanding of the terroir that wineries in Canada have been making a name for themselves.  The earliest records of vineyards in Canada date back to settlers who tried to cultivate European grape varietals. This was met with little success as the vines succumbed to diseases caused by the hot, humid summers and severe winter conditions. Canadian winemakers then relied heavily on native varietals to produce “foxy” table wines or fortified wines.  However, the early 1900s brought with it the Prohibition era and growing consumer demands for sweet wine put a halt on Canadian wine production. It wasn’t until the 70s’ and 80s’ that the New World wine industry began to boom. The introduction of better wine-growing and wine-making technologies, international grape varietals and the lifting of a 50-year embargo on wine production along with the establishment of the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) made it easier for Canadian wine regions to excel.   Today, large investments in world-class wineries and diversified wine offerings allow Canada’s wine industry to grow successfully gaining international recognition, but we still have a ways to go.  Top 4 Canadian Wine Regions to Visit Now, that you know a little more about the history of Canadian wine and winemaking let’s dive into which wine regions are a destination to consider. Ontario and British Columbia are the two largest producers of Canadian wine certainly stake their claim as regions not to be missed. However, other wine regions are just as delightful.  Prince Edward County Considered as one of Canada’s newest, yet fastest growing wine regions is Prince Edward County. Located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, it is home to close to 40 wineries that make exceptional Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Gamays, and much more.  Despite its harsh winters, this region’s tenacious winemakers have produced some unique and complex award-winning wines. Although this wine region is still in its infancy, many wine lovers across Canada have flocked to this region to experience …

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The Ultimate Guide to Sangiovese: A Classic Tuscan Grape

A woman holding a glass of Sangiovese blended red wine.

Known as the grape varietal at the heart of Italy, Sangiovese is Italy’s most widely planted red wine grape. A dominant element of many classic Italian wines, especially Chianti, this grape varietal holds a special place in the hearts of Italian winemakers. As a clear protagonist on the world’s wine stage, our team at Small Winemakers Collection believes that every wine enthusiast should make dedicate time to research and expose themselves to this beloved noble wine.  So, without further ado, let’s get started.  Sangiovese: Exploring this Italian Grape Variety While more subtle than that of Pinot Noir or Cabernet, the Sangiovese grape does not fail to leave a lasting impression. Indigenous to Italy, this grape has an innate ability to adapt and thrive in any environment. Due to its versatility, it is known as being one of the most diverse grapes used in winemaking.  While this grape varietal is planted all over the world, Tuscany is by far the most notable Italian wine region to produce Sangiovese wines. It is believed that the origins of this grape date back to Roman times where it was first cultivated by Etruscans. While other theories suggest that its name derives from Sanguis Jovis meaning the Blood of Jupiter.  Although its origins aren’t exactly known, what is clear to see is the lasting impact that this grape variety has had on Italian winemaking. Commonly used as a blended wine, Sangiovese is typically used in the production of Super Tuscans such as Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino.  What Are the Characteristics and Profile of This Wine? While these grapes are versatile and can adapt easily to their environment, Sangiovese grapes have clear characteristics regardless of the region they are grown in. These grapes are known for being light in colour, having thin skin, featuring fine tannins, and thriving in long growing seasons. It also has the ability to give a beautiful acidic structure when blended with other grapes.  In terms of aromatic and flavour profile, wines made with the Sangiovese grape tend to be medium to full-bodied, dry, and highly acidic. They offer classic flavours of red berries such as red cherry, raspberry, plum, and strawberry. However, it also is praised for its more complex savoury flavours and aromas including:  Leather Tomato Smoke Clay Tobacco If your personal preference is for a wine that has a wide depth of flavour and offers sharp acidic qualities, choosing a Sangiovese wine, whether blended or not, could be a great option for you. In our opinion, there is a space for this intensely aromatic and flavourful grape variety in all wine cellars and collections.  Sangiovese Food Pairings: The Best Dishes to Complement This Tuscan Delight When it comes to Sangiovese food pairings, the bolder the better. This Tuscan grape has a big personality with strong flavours and textures. For this reason, it is best to pair with similar dishes so that one element won’t overpower the other.  Consider pairing an Armilla Rosso di Montalcino 2018 with a bold …

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Stellenbosch: Explore South Africa’s Most Loved Wine Region

An image of a grape vineyard surrounded by rolling hills and mountains

South Africa’s most well-known wine region, Stellenbosch is home to some excellent South African wines. Located east of Cape Town, this wine region is one of the oldest and most important wine-producing regions in the country.  Below, we will delve deeper into the history of Stellenbosch, its prominent grape varietals, culture, and more.  Stellenbosch: South Africa’s Best-Known Secret Stellenbosch is the centre of wine tourism for South Africa. With vineyards on gently rolling hills set amongst the background of granite mountains, the charming vistas, the warm hospitality and sensational wine exploring experiences is a driving force behind why many wine enthusiasts place this region high on their must-visit list.  Stellenbosch is to South Africa what Napa Valley is to California – earning it the title of South Africa’s best-known secret. Within the larger Stellenbosch region, there are seven sub-regions or “wards”, as they call them locally, that produce great wine especially reds and they are: Banghoek, Bottelary, Devon Valley, Jonkershoek Valley, Papegaaiberg, Polkadraai Hills and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch.  If you are looking to purchase South African wines for your cellar, numerous high-quality producers are operating in this region that you can explore. About Stellenbosch: History, Culture, Grapes and More Stellenbosch dominates South Africa’s wine scene in terms of history, wine quality and education. Founded in 1679 by Dutch settlers, it wasn’t long after that the French Huguenots began planting the first vines and establishing wine estates across the region.  Throughout the 1800s, Stellenbosch found a ready market due to the war between France and Britain. However, this soon came to an end once the war was over and with the arrival of Phylloxera which devastated most of the vineyards. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the wine industry began to see a renewal. In 1918, the University of Stellenbosch was founded which has been a leading center of education for winemakers.  By the 1970s, the region’s winemakers developed the Stellenbosch Wine Route as a means to export wine. While the exportation of South African wine experienced tumultuous times due to apartheid, with the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994 many countries began to take notice of this region and export in larger quantities.  The terrain and climate of this region offer winemakers the ability to produce a variety of different wine styles. Traditionally, it was the white grape varietals of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay that put Stellenbosch on the map. In recent years, wine estates have grown notoriety for their red grape varietals in particular Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Bordeaux blends.  The Stellenbosch wine region is also the birthplace of Pinotage, a unique grape cultivated in 1925 as a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut (Cinsaut was known as “Hermitage” in South Africa at that time, hence the name).  Graceland Vineyards: A Premium Example of Stellenbosch Wine While there are many notable wine estates in Stellenbosch one that stands out, in particular, is that of Graceland Vineyards. Owned by Paul and Sue McNaughton, this family-run boutique winery has been producing premium …

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Food and Wine Pairing: Iconic Dishes to Serve with White Wine

A glass of white wine served with a crisp, fresh salad

Many wine enthusiasts will agree that a glass of crisp, fresh, zippy white wine can be divine with a large selection of dishes. However, there are some nuances that must be considered when pairing various white wines such as a cool climate Sauvignon Blanc or an oaked Chardonnay. Pairing wine with the right dish can truly elevate your dining experience. Not all foods pair well with all wines. Whether you are at a restaurant or looking to cook something special at home to pair with a bottle of Kingston Estate Chardonnay in your cellar, for example, you would need to follow these simple wine pairing principles to make a good match. Wine Pairing Basics: A Refresher Course We’ve previously discussed the importance of observing the key principles of wine pairing when choosing which dishes are best to serve. These principles are components to consider in both the food and wine are acid, body, texture/tannins, sweetness, richness/alcohol and flavour profile.  Regardless of whether you are pairing a red or white wine, these principles will always be the same. Choosing the right meal to pair with wine comes down to observing the basic taste components of both parties.  For example, an Assyrtiko pairs well with a ceviche because they both have fresh aroma profiles and the acid of the wine also cuts through the fattiness of the raw fish. In addition, if you want to create a complex, layered pairing, contrast a spicy curry with a sweet, off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer for balance where the sweetness of the wine balances and compliments the spicy notes of the food.  Iconic Dishes That Pair Well with White Wine Below, we feature some of the most iconic food and white wine pairings for various grape varietals. While these pairings may not be to everyone’s taste, they are the ideal starting guide for those wine enthusiasts that are looking to master wine pairing principles.  Goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre: This pairing is an example of complementing a regional wine with local cuisine. The intensely crisp flavour profile and high acid structure of Sancerre pairs perfectly with the creaminess and saltiness of goat cheese. Perfect with a salad or as a pre-dinner treat.  Lobster and Oak-Aged Chardonnay: The butteriness of oak-aged Chardonnay and the richness of lobster have long been considered as a perfect food and wine marriage. Typically, an oaked Chardonnay, depending on where it comes from, usually offers the best of both a vibrancy and a richness that pair well with shellfish.  Prune and almond tart with Gewurztraminer: A prune and almond dessert offers the perfect combination of nuttiness and tartness to complement the velvety, aromatic nature of a sweet Gewurztraminer.  Thai or Indian curry with German Riesling: German Riesling such as from Alsace or Mosel is the perfect complement for spicier dishes, especially wines with some residual sugar. The sharpness of the zesty flavour profile coupled with slight sweetness perfectly balances the aromatics and heat of curries. Roast duck with Pinot Gris: A …

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The Ultimate Malbec Wine Pairing Ideas

A women drinking a glass of red wine

The Malbec grape variety is a favourite among many sommeliers, industry professionals, and wine aficionados because a good Malbec can offer bang for your buck. This dry red wine appeals to many for various reasons including its approachable dark fruity aromas. Indigenous to France, Malbec is typically used both as a blending grape and as a single varietal. Although, nowadays many would be more familiar with a Malbec from Argentina. Another popular reason this red wine is a fan favourite is due to its natural pairing ability with various dishes such as red meat, cheese, herbs and spices. Below, we delve deeper into how best to serve this wine and the pairings you should consider at your next dinner party.  Malbec: How Best to Serve This Wine The proper service of wine is an element of the wine tasting experience that many don’t pay enough attention to. We’ve spoken previously about how a wine’s serving temperature can impact both its aroma and taste profile. This is true for all wines, including red wines such as Malbec.  There is a misconception that full-bodied, red wines should be served at room temperature or above 21℃ (70℉). This is far from the truth. Instead, for a big red like Malbec to maintain its round tannins and lush mouthfeel, it benefits from slight cooling.  Place in the fridge for 25 minutes and cool to between 17-21°C (63 – 69℉), then proceed to serve in a large red wine glass with a good surface area. This will allow for the wine to breathe allowing the aroma profile to open up.  4 Wine Pairings to Try With Malbec Now that you understand how to serve Malbec, let’s look at the various food pairing options that you can enjoy with a glass of this delicious red varietal.  Salmon Tartare Appetizer  While Malbec is often thought of as a bold, full-bodied red wine that doesn’t mean it can’t be paired with a pre-dinner appetizer. In fact, many sommeliers note that an elegant appetizer such as this Salmon Tartare by Saveur using a mixture of soy sauce, cilantro, and a skinless salmon filet is a perfect match.  Since salmon is a fattier, richer fish it can pair well with a  young, medium body Malbec.  Garlic and Jalapeño Bison Burgers  An Argentinian Malbec is capable of complementing and balancing juicy, red meats such as sirloin steak and gamey, earthy meats such as bison or buffalo. If you are looking for a main dish that will leave a lasting impression, this Garlic and Jalapeño bison burger recipe by Primal Palate is a must-try.  The spiciness of the jalapeño combined with the richness of the meat pairs well with the full bodiness of the wine ensuring that neither element overpowers the other.  Vegetable Beef Stew  A hearty beef and vegetable stew such as this recipe by the Spruce Eats is an ideal pairing with Malbec. Packed with flavour, this stew calls for a wine that is as hearty, intense, and comforting as …

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Wine Tasting Skills: Tips for Developing Your Palate

A woman sipping red wine as part of a wine tasting

Training your wine palate requires consistency, dedication, and a lot of practice. It is a skill that must be honed through hours of tasting and through noting and memorizing the smaller nuances that make different vintages and grape varietals distinct. While there are those who have a naturally attuned wine palate, wine tasting skills should and can be developed.  In this article, we will provide simple techniques and tips that you can use to help strengthen your ability to discern notes of fruit, floral, earthy, herbal and so much more.  The Art of Wine Tasting: Why a Developed Palate is Key The palate is triggered by four senses: sight, smell, feel (texture) and taste. In order to prime your palate, you need to ensure that you are fully engaged with each of these senses during the wine tasting experience. Only once you have mastered the skill of harmonizing all of the aforementioned senses, then you will notice an improvement in your ability to better detect various aromas and notes more easily.  Properly tasting wine should bring an elevated experience to your enjoyment of the product. That is why practicing and developing your palate is key in taking that enjoyment to the next level. Once you have mastered these wine tasting skills, you will notice your taste preferences broadening which will open your eyes, mind and palate to a wider range of wine.  Wine Tasting Skills: Tips for Training Your Palate Whether you are tasting at an event, in the comfort of your own home or with a group of friends, there are helpful tips and techniques you can use as part of wine palate training. These exercises will allow you to hone your analytical wine skills as well as refine your wine vocabulary.   Follow Your Nose A wine’s smell will play a large role in your perception of the wine before your glass even reaches your lips. Sniffing your wine prior to tasting will give you an immediate sense of a wine’s aroma. Having said that, it is essential to swirl your wine glass first as this will introduce oxygen and therefore, the aromas will open up.  Once the wine has been aerated, you can proceed to experience the aromas more profoundly. As part of developing your wine palate, training your nose to decipher between savoury and sweet notes such as spices or fruit aromas will tremendously improve your confidence in a tasting.  To train your nose, take time to smell fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs at a grocery or market. This will help with building a catalogue of smells in your mind as the olfactory system is linked to memory and this will really help you in identifying them when wine tasting. Take Some Air With Each Sip Since some flavours in a wine are only triggered in the presence of oxygen, you must learn the art of aspiration. This requires you to take a small sip of the wine and suck a bit of air into your mouth …

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Riesling Wine: How Well Does It Age?

A sommelier prepares a glass of Riesling wine for tasting

As a white grape varietal, Riesling is well-known by professionals and consumers in the food and wine industry. While still a fan favourite amongst sommeliers, its limited retail presence has caused this wine to slip under the radar of some. However, the question many ask about Riesling is: Does it age well?  Riesling can in fact be enjoyed both young or aged, depending on the style and structure of the wine. However, there are many considerations that must be kept in mind when choosing to age this wine. Below, we look at the characteristics of the Riesling grape and provide recommendations on how to store Riesling correctly during the ageing process.  What Are the Main Characteristics of Riesling? Riesling is an aromatic grape varietal. Known for producing white wine that is floral and fruit-driven, this grape is grown in many reputable wine regions across the world, most notably Mosel Valley, Germany.  This white grape is often characterized by its moderate size, green skin, high acidity and light body. Notable tasting notes for this grape include citrus, stone fruit, rose blossom and petrol (when aged). Rieslings are also known for expressing their terroir and come in many styles. You can expect variations in terms of flavour, dryness, and sweetness.  For more information on the origins of this versatile grape, read our in-depth guide to Riesling wine.  Does the Riesling Grape Get Better With Age? Many think ageing is only suitable for red wines. But, in fact, many white wines such as Rieslings can evolve beautify with age in bottle. In fact, in recent years, older German Rieslings have come to prominence among sommeliers although it is still somewhat of a secret to consumers of the mass wine market.  As part of aging, one consideration that is looked at is a wine’s structure. Wines that have a complex structure and high acid are known to develop with age. In the case of white wine, the Riesling grape falls into this category – therefore, making it a worthy wine to age.  As noted above, a young Riesling will be unequivocally fresh, vibrant and fruit-forward. However, the profile of an older Riesling is much more complex and interesting. Riesling gains balance and density with age. Prominent flavours such as toast, honey and petrol are known to develop, while the fresh fruit characteristics known in its younger state become more subtle.  Riesling is considered aged after five years and Riesling which is high in acid and sugar or both can sometimes be cellared for twenty years or longer. Having said that, cellaring a Riesling must be done with care – otherwise, it won’t improve with age.  Wine Storage Considerations: How to Store Riesling Correctly How successfully a Riesling ages depends on three factors: the complexity of aromas, acidity levels and residual sugar. As the wine is so versatile and offers both dry, off-dry and sweet versions, you will need a storage method that is as multifaceted as the wine itself.  Wine storage principles such as …

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The Importance of Understanding Wine Aroma

A man sniffing a glass of white wine as part of wine tasting.

We’ve spoken previously about the importance of mastering wine tasting skills in order to truly appreciate every glass of wine. One of the core basics of wine tasting is identifying the nose of a wine – its condition, intensity, and aroma characteristics.  As you may already know, determining a wine’s aromatic profile is just as important as being able to decipher whether a wine is bitter, salty, or sweet. After all, our first initial impression of a wine is based on the scents that we can identify – and the memories that they evoke.  Below, we discuss the importance of understanding aromas in wine and detail the core aroma compounds that can be found in a wine. If you’re looking to improve your next wine tasting, the insights noted below will help you achieve that.  Wine Basics: Why You Need to Understand A Wine’s Aromas There will always be those who roll their eyes when you use descriptors for wine aroma. Can you really denote hints of rose petal, grapefruit, and clay pot just by sniffing a wine? The answer is yes and it is cemented in scientific reasoning.  Our olfactory system allows us to discern between millions of aromas at any given moment. In fact, our sense of smell affects how our brain processes flavour. When evaluating and tasting a wine, the primary method by which this is done is by detecting the aromas. Therefore, having a mental library of scents that you can rely on is beneficial and will noticeably improve your wine tasting skills.  It is important to note that in wine tasting there is generally a distinction between a wine’s “aroma” and its “bouquet”. Aromas refer to the scents that are unique to different grape varieties. A wine’s bouquet, on the other hand, will note those scents that have been created due to chemical reactions during the winemaking process or exposure to oak.  The Core Aroma Compounds Found in Wine Aromas are a result of organic chemical compounds that are found in various grape varietals. Others known as esters are created during the fermentation process. Depending on how sensitive our nose is and how concentrated the compounds are, our brains can naturally decipher many of these core aroma compounds.  Below, we note the core compounds that every wine enthusiast should familiarize themselves with:  Terpenes – Terpenes are compounds that naturally reside in the skin of a grape. They are also commonly found elsewhere in nature such as flowers and plants. These compounds are responsible for scents such as rose petals, desert sage, lavender, white pepper and floral citrus aromas.  Thiols – The thiol compound is responsible for those bittersweet fruit aromas. Oftentimes in small amounts, they appear quite fruity. However, in large quantities, they can appear more earthy or smoky. Three classic examples of thiols are grapefruit in a Sauvignon Blanc, black currant in Merlot and chocolate in an Argentine Malbec. Pyrazines – Pyrazines are an organic compound that are common in various grape varietals. They …

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