Why doesn’t wine taste like grapes?

Why doesn’t wine taste like grapes?

Why doesn’t wine taste like grapes?

Anyone who likes a glass of wine is likely to be acquainted with the terms ‘citrusy,’ ‘herbal,’ and spicy,’ which are used to describe the scent of the wine. However, despite the fact that grapes are used to make wine, the term “grapey” is seldom used — why is this?

Except for a tiny number of wines created from certain white grape varietals, most wines do not taste much like grapes at all (Moscato or Muscat being the most famous). So, what does the wine taste like, and how does it differ from other beverages?

When we smell a wine, we may detect fragrances that are reminiscent of a variety of fruits, herbs, vegetables, spices, meats, minerals, and other ingredients, among them.

The science of winemaking and aging is the cause behind this. This procedure produces or imparts aromas to the wine that are similar to those found in the commonly consumed plant- or animal-based foods.

Wine ‘aromatics’ may be divided into many categories, including esters, pyrazines, terpenes, thiols, and lactones. To keep things (relatively) simple, let’s concentrate on the primary sources of scent in most wines.

The grapes were harvested

Some of the smells of the finished wine may be found in the grapes themselves. The grape variety known as black grape Unfermented Syrah grape juice, for example, may sometimes be discovered to have the peculiar black pepper scents associated with Syrah wine.

In a similar vein, the Sauvignon Blanc grape may exhibit some of the grassy, green pepper notes that are so characteristic of the dry, fragrant wines that it is known for producing.

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The fermentation process.

There are several changes that occur inside the liquid when grape juice is fermented. The most well-known change is the conversion of sugar to alcohol via the activity of yeast, but fermentation is also the process through which many of the aromatic compounds found in wine are produced.

Some fragrance molecules are produced during fermentation from ‘precursors’ that reside in the grapes, which are chemicals that have a pleasant scent. These include the strong flowery fragrances found in certain white and red wines, as well as some sparkling wines.

Yet additional scents are produced not by the grapes themselves, but rather by the many complicated interactions that occur between particular acids and alcohols as fermentation develops, resulting in the development of increasingly complex fragrances.

The fruity ‘esters’ produced as a consequence provide smells reminiscent of apple, pineapple, and banana, which are typically seen in young wines.

In order to determine whether aromatics are boosted or muted during fermentation, factors like the fermentation vessel, temperature, and kind of yeast must be taken into consideration.

Creating wine after fermentation is a technique used in winemaking.

Decisions taken by the winemaker after fermentation is complete might enhance the complexity of an already complex wine’s aromas. When wines go through a process known as “malolactic conversion,” they may develop buttery notes, but wines that are stored in new oak barrels might get vanilla scents as a result of their exposure to the oak.

The maturing of the bottle

Once the wine has been bottled, its aromatics continue to alter as a result of exposure to air, heat, and light, among other factors. Typically, the fresh scents that were present while it was young become less intense with time.

Some high-quality wines may retain their freshness for years or even decades if they are kept properly (in a cold, dark, and undisturbed environment). During this time, chemical changes occur, which result in even more aromatic complexity.

Due to the complexity of the science of grape growth, winemaking, and aging, no two wines are precisely the same. Wine is a fascinating beverage because of the possibility of countless scent and flavor combinations that may be made from a single fruit.

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