Aromas in wine

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Aroma of wine will be the tasting judges smelling and tasting.

The determination of the aromas in wine is extremely complex , both in terms of taste and chemical analysis. On the one hand, the aromas are the result of a long chain of biochemical , oenological and viticultural processes. On the other hand, the number of flavors or flavor precursors identified to date is over 500.

The concentration of the individual substances can range from a few nanograms to a few milligrams. By using the latest technologies such as mass spectrometry , HPLC , FTIR spectrometer or NMR spectroscopy , a number of these substances could be identified. Since the 1980s, the flavor precursors, the bound substances, have increasingly moved into the focus of oenologists .

Aromas are mostly used to describe volatile compounds that are essentially perceived with the nose. During the aging of the wine , the aroma of changing wine initially rapidly and contributes later bouquet of the wine in.

Aroma in the sensory system

Aroma is a term from sensory science , whereby a sensation from the combination of taste and smell is perceived.

The taste impression arises when you inhale through the throat while tasting. Aromas heat up in the throat and reach the nose receptors via the throat-nose connection.

The tongue can only recognize five flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami ). “Hot” (pepper, chilli peppers) is mainly perceived through pain sensors. In contrast, the receptors of the nasal and olfactory mucous membrane in humans perceive slightly more than four hundred different fragrances. In conjunction with the sense of smell, we can use our taste sensors to differentiate between over ten thousand different aromas and millions of fragrances.

Classification of flavors

The variety of aromas in the wine is influenced by the grape variety and its clones, the vintage , the terroir , the growing conditions (yield, ...), the conditions of the grape harvest as well as the care taken in the selection of the grapes , the alcoholic fermentation and the aging of the wine . In oenology, a basic distinction is therefore made between primary aromas that come from the grape itself or treatment / processing before fermentation, and secondary aromas that arise from fermentation and aging of the wine:

  • Primary aromas are essentially influenced by the grape variety and its growing conditions. The berries of most grape varieties have a rather neutral taste, so that the aromas typical of the variety are only available in small proportions, but mostly in aroma precursors. These include glycosides of terpenoids - alcohols ( linalool , nerol , geraniol , α- terpineol ), carotenoids and phenolics . Free aromatic substances are mainly esters , hydrocarbons , alcohols, carboxylic acids and aldehydes .
  • Secondary flavors are formed during alcoholic fermentation by yeast and lactic acid bacteria . These aromas are present in almost all wines in a similar form and ensure the wine's character.
  • Tertiary aromas arise during aging in the barrel and in the wine bottle. This process is lengthy, is influenced by the selection of the aging (e.g. barrique , micro-oxygenation ) and can take more than 10 years for individual types of wine.

The enzymatic degradation of odorless and tasteless terpenoid glycosides from the group of primary aromas can in principle already take place before alcoholic fermentation by the grape's own enzymes ( glycosidases ), but is of secondary importance due to the suboptimal reaction conditions. Therefore, either appropriate yeasts, such as Hansenula species, or pure glycosidase enzymes are added during winemaking .

The flavors in the tasting

In the wine language , cross-references to flavor carriers with a well-known varietal characteristic are often used. In the early 1980s, the aroma wheel was developed to have a standardized register of terms .

The wine aroma wheel consists of three concentric circles:

  • The inner circle is divided into 12 odor classes (e.g. fruity, chemical, woody).
  • The middle circle has 29 subdivisions that further subdivide the 12 inner ones (e.g. citrus fruit, sulfur compound, resinous).
  • The outer one is further divided into 94 individual aromas (e.g. grapefruit, gum, cedar wood).

It uses the classic descriptions of different types of wine.

Grape varieties and their aromas in wine

The following table lists some of the most important grape varieties with their typical aromas:

Grape variety colour Flavors
Acolon red Red fruits
Aglianico red Plum, chocolate (source, page 4)
Aleatico red Nutmeg flavor (source, page 8)
Aligoté White very neutral, hazelnut, lemon
Arneis White Almonds
Bacchus White Nutmeg aroma, currant (source, page 56)
Barbera red Sour cherries, plums, violets, tar, smoke (source, page 60)
Blaufränkisch red Blackberry, cherry, sour cherry, elderberry, plum, pepper (source, page 79)
Blue Portuguese red Strawberry, raspberry, lingonberry, red currant, sour cherry
Bonarda Piemontese red Black currant, plum, cherry
Bourboulenc White Rockrose, juniper (scent of garigue )
Brachetto red strawberry
Cabernet Franc red Strawberry, raspberry, violet, liquorice, green paprika, pepper, almond, truffle, smoke
Cabernet Sauvignon red Raspberry, black currant, blueberry, plum, green paprika, pepper, hot peppers, liquorice, leather, tobacco, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate
Carignan red Black currant, blueberry, liquorice, cinnamon, tobacco, vanilla, cinnamon, humus, bay leaf, rosemary
Carménère red Chocolate, leather, tobacco, black berries
Chardonnay White Peach, apple, tropical fruits, hazelnut, vanilla, oak, butter (source, page 135)
Chenin Blanc White Apple, pear, apricot, quince, nuts, honey, lemon, freshly cut grass, linden blossom (source, page 140)
Cinsaut red Strawberry, raspberry, currant, blueberry, violet, rose, liquorice, humus
Cortese White Apple, pear, banana (source, page 159)
Corvina Veronese red Cherry (morello), almond, strawberry
Dolcetto red Blackberry, cherry, liquorice, almond, liquorice
Dominatrix red Blackberry, sour cherry, green pepper, elderberry
Dornfelder red Blackberry, sour cherry, green pepper, elderberry, plum
Ehrenfelser White Apple, peach, apricot, grapefruit
Fiano White Hazelnut, lemon, pine needles, honey
Freer White Apple, gooseberry, quince,
Pinot Noir red Blackberry, wild berry, raspberry, black currant, cherry, smoke
Gamay red Strawberry, raspberry, cherry, banana (at Beaujolais Nouveau )
Garganega White Acacia, lemon, almond
Yellow muscatel White Roses, oranges, bergamot, raisins, spicy notes, acacia, melon, honey, passion fruit
Gewürztraminer White Rose blossom, acacia, orange jam, lychee, apricot, peach, cinnamon, clove
Pinot Gris White Pear, apple, honey, pineapple, peach, grapefruit, dried fruit, raisins, almonds, smoke
Grenache red Raspberry, pepper, hay, black currant, blackberry, cherry, bay leaf, liquorice
Gros Manseng White Honey, vanilla
Green Valtellina White green apple, citrus, pepper, spicy
Gutedel White Pears, apples, fine tones of nuts and almonds
Huxelrebe White Honey, oranges, melon, passion fruit, jasmine, black currant, peach, muscat aroma
Kerner White Apple, currant, pear, raisins, honey, apricot, light muscatel clay
Lagrein red Violets, cherries, blackberries, dark chocolate.
Marsanne blanche White floral aroma, acacia, quince, apricot, dried fruits, honey, almonds
Malbec red Violets, pepper, currant.
Mauzac White Apple, dried fruit, honey
Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet) White subtly flowery, hay, pear, apple, lemon, grapefruit
Merlot red Cherry, plum, black currant, blueberry, mushroom, caramel, leather
Mondeuse red Currant, cherry, raspberry, strawberry, fig, plum, iris, violet, humus.
Morio nutmeg White Muscat flavor
Mourvedre red black currant, blueberry, cherry, liquorice, pepper, tobacco
Müller-Thurgau White Apple, lemon, light muscat aroma
Muscadelle White slight muscat aroma
Nebbiolo red Rose, violet, cherry, plum, truffle, liquorice, smoke, cocoa, tar
Negroamaro red Plum, black currant, cherry, blackberry, spicy
Ortega White Pear, apricot, quince, banana, honey.
Petite Arvine White Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, violet.
Petit Manseng White Exotic fruits (pineapple, lychee), spicy, lemon peel, peach, mango
Petit Verdot red Blackberry, spicy, black currant
Pinotage red Plum, sour cherry, spicy
Refosco red Plum, almond
Rieslaner White Apricot, grapefruit, passion fruit.
Riesling White Apple, grapefruit, orange, peach, apricot, quince, pineapple, mango, honey, herbs, petrol tones
Roussanne White Vineyard peach, apricot, honey, hawthorn blossom
Sagrantino red blackberry
Velvet red red Blackberry, raspberry, cherry
Sangiovese red Violet, blackberry, lingonberry, leather, vanilla, elderberry, cherry, plum
Savagnin White very spicy, apple, nutty
Sauvignon Blanc White freshly cut hay, black currant, gooseberries, iris, lemon, flint (especially with Sancerre)
Scheurebe White Black currant, peach, grapefruit, mango
Schioppettino red Violet, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, pepper
Schoenburger White Rose, nutmeg
Black Riesling red Blackberry, wild berry, raspberry, strawberry, cherry, plum, smoke
Semillon White Butter, honey, preserved fruit (pear, apricot, quince, peach), lemon, linden blossom
Silvaner White Apple, gooseberry, quince, dried fruit, hay, hare bells, acacia
Pinot Noir red Raspberry, strawberry, black currant, cherry, violet, rose hip, clove, rarely coffee notes, smoke, leather
Syrah red Black currant, raspberry, blackberry, violet, cedarwood, pepper, cloves, truffle, leather, liquorice, licorice, tar
Tannat red Raspberry, blackberry, tobacco, spice notes
Tempranillo red Blackberry, black currant, blueberry, cherry, leather
Teroldego red Blueberry, cherry
Trebbiano White subtly flowery, citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit), nutty
Trollinger red sour cherry
Viognier White Apricot, peach, apple, acacia, violet, anise, honey, hay, roasted almonds, lime, hawthorn blossoms
Pinot Blanc White Apple, pear, quince, banana, apricot, caramel, citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit), nutty
Zinfandel red Black currants, blackberries, plums, pepper, caramel, spicy,
Zweigelt red Cherry, plum

Individual evidence

  1. Claude Flanzy (Ed.): Oenologie, Fondements scientifiques et technologiques. Tec & Doc-Lavoisier, Paris 1998, ISBN 2-7430-0243-3 , p. 164.
  2. Gottfried Schatz : Beyond the Genes - Essays about our being, our world and our dreams. NZZ-Libro, Zurich 2008, ISBN 978-3-03823-453-1 , pp. 38–40.
  3. H.-D. Belitz , W. Grosch, P. Schieberle : Textbook of food chemistry. 5th edition, Springer, 2001, ISBN 3-540-41096-1 , p. 908.
  4.$FILE/Sensorischer_Vergleich_Oekolog_Konventioneller_ not abrufbarpdf
  5. a b Gordon Hall (Ed.): Handbook of Aromas and Spices, Volume 1. Behr, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-86022-558-8 , pp. 60-71.
  6. a b c d e f g h Jancis Robinson: The Oxford Wine Lexicon. Hallwag Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-8338-0691-9 .

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