Why wine never tastes like grapes in the mouth and the specialists’ texts?
Wine aromas are generally classified into three categories:
- primary or fermentative aromas, directly linked to the activity of the yeast during fermentation, typically the “banana” smell of Beaujolais.
These aromas are unstable, they disappear in a few weeks to a few months.
- The secondary aromas are generally fruity in character, and particularly appreciated if they are clear.
They can sometimes help to identify the grape variety of origin (boxwood, exotic fruits for sauvignon for example).
- Tertiary or ageing aromas, linked to the slow evolution of the aromatic compounds of the wine during a long conservation in the bottle.
In great wines that have evolved well, the tertiary aromas are of incomparable complexity and provide immense pleasure to the wine lover.
Tertiary aromas characterize more the terroir of origin than the grape varieties from which the wine is made.
You will notice that in all 3 cases, the aromas of the grape have not been preserved in the initial state of the “grape fruit” in the finished wine: they have been degraded, transformed during the fermentation or maturation of the wine.
If you want to appear savvy to your friends and offer them personalized tasting comments on the expensive wines you serve them, abuse without moderation this tool widely used by wine writers.