A few years ago a friend was over at our house and was enjoying some of our Cabernet Sauvignon-he read the back label for more information and came across the descriptor “red cherries” in the tasting notes. He asked if cherries had been added to the wine at some point along the way. He was new to wine tasting so I assured him that no cherries were used in the production of the wine and it was a description used by the winemaker to describe the fruit characteristics of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Which opens up another form of thought we’ll explore in a future blog post: what sets Cabernet, for instance, apart from Merlot or Zinfandel for that matter. But I digress. You’ve heard that a wine begins in the vineyard-from the type of growing season to how late you leave the grapes on the vine-they all come into play when we talk about the flavors in wine. How about throwing in oak barrel aging? Then you have another layer of flavor or, as I like to say, complexity. This video does a great job (thanks Dr. Sacks at Cornell University) of explaining the science behind the flavors we smell and taste in wine. And I completely agree with him when he says to ‘add your two cents’ when it comes to describing the wine you are trying-it is after all your palate and your tasting experience which is coming into play! When you enjoy your glass of wine tonight, may you taste the monoterpenes!
Out of the bottle: Wine Flavor