The secrets behind the love for wines

The secrets behind the love for wines

Wine is considered by lovers, an art that they never finish learning. Even a casual wine drinker will eventually reach a point where the topics of "taste", "aromas" and "mouthfeel" will be targets in advancing knowledge of wines. Such an obsession may be extreme in some cases, but undoubtedly wine experiences are greatly enhanced when there is a focus on the aroma, taste and mouthfeel of wine. The dilemma is: Are you enjoying 100% of your wine bottle?

The art behind wine connoisseurs requires detailed learning that usually take years to fully comprehend, this has been one reason why the wine industry is interested in understanding the science behind taste, flavor, aroma and sensations. 

There are a number of famous quotes from famous people about the art and hobby of wine in general, but without the definitions of taste, smell, aromas and mouthfeel of it, it would be really difficult to be precise when explaining this one of a kind art.

All the senses used when tasting a wine correctly

During research carried out by wine specialists and researchers, there is the premise: "You cannot separate taste, aroma or mouthfeel and still have a meaningful discussion; the three are intimately linked." Let’s prove that point: hold your nose and have a sip of an unfamiliar beverage and try to define exactly the taste. It is impossible because our brain needs the additional references of smell and mouthfeel along with taste. Curious, isn’t it?

From this point of view, it is a fact that the character of the wine is best summarized in its taste, aromas and mouthfeel. We like certain wines based on the olfactory sense of these signals and the reflection in our brain of these sensations. In short, the olfactory characteristics of wine (aromatic compounds) first activate our "olfactory bulb".

What is Wine Aroma wheel?

The wine aroma wheel is a great companion during the learning process in wine tasting while the olfactory memory has not yet been sufficiently developed. If you are a beginner or even a wine expert, this tool will allow you to remember in the process of identifying the usual aromas contained in the olfactory complexity of a wine.

The wheel is structured in categories that are usually identified with colors for greater visual comfort. Within each category the wheel is in turn divided into subcategories to find the specific smell more precisely. Currently there are many formats this instrument, by colors, sizes, types of wines, types of grapes...

The wine aroma wheel helps wine lovers to be precise when analyzing the smells in a wine and eventually get to a point where they do not need the wheel anymore to organize the ideas in their brain and define the aromas.

As a fun and challenging activity, so in vogue lately, get yourself a Wine Aroma Wheel to use at a gathering of friends for a wine tasting, explain the concept of the wheel, and let others experiment with defining the wines. aromas that smell in the wine of your choice.

The question to ask yourself is: Where do the aromatic compounds come from?

According to specialists in the subject, all the flavors and aromas come basically from the varietal grape, the vineyard management, the winemakers' technique, the aging process and the region of origin or terroir. In extreme cases, the air in the vineyard has an impact on the development of aromas in the grape and finally in the wine.

There are ongoing discussions about the alcohol levels in wine today. However, alcohol plays an important role in the composition of the aroma. Some report that higher alcoholic wines are sweeter, but in model wine studies, higher alcoholic wines were more bitter. Simply put, a winemaker can influence taste and aroma by controlling the alcohol and sugar content.

Flavors and aromas, the main knowledge to taste a wine

Aromas are what excite a person when they know the flavors of wine. Taste and aroma interactions occur every time we eat or drink. Normal food and beverage consumption conditions result in the simultaneous perception of aroma and taste along with tactile sensations (mouthfeel), all of which contribute to an overall taste impression.

What makes wine so enjoyable are the sensations of the taste stimuli perceived in the brain through nasal and oral interaction. Taste has been defined as the "psychological interpretation of a physio response logic to a physical stimulus. So, in conclusion, to appreciate flavors, there must be independence of the senses of taste and smell.

Taste is generally associated with aroma in the sense that variety and "region or origin" play an important role. Subsequently, the winemaker gets involved in managing the tasks: crushing, handling of the must, fermentation methods, pressing, aging (oak, steel, etc.), mixing and finishing. Finishing is the process before bottling that controls the balance of acidity levels in the wine. After all, most people buy wine for flavor aspects and there are many subsets to the above aspects that impact in a wine’s flavor.

How to visually and theoretically understand the integral flavor of wines

To illustrate, the taste and flavor sets the stage for the orchestra's performance of the wine. The tongue detects only four flavors: bitter, sweet, salty and sour. To get to the music of the wine (flavor and aroma notes) the nasal passages must carry the notes to the brain and then the music begins. For this reason, the wine must be dispersed throughout the mouth. On the other hand, the tannins do not possess any flavor, but the tannins contribute to the mouthfeel, this will be discussed later.

It can be said that the ethanol fumes from a freshly opened bottle of wine can be somewhat strong on the nose, but that is a fleeting sensation.

Sensations in the mouth

Texture is another way of understanding mouthfeel and it really defines how the tongue recognizes low alcohol, fruity, sweet, sour, etc. and the weight of a red wine versus white wine. Understanding wine is a free choice that is not necessarily a skill, it comes from experiences on the palate, in the nose and in the brain. 95% of the taste we perceive from wines are nasal and olfactory effects processed by the brain, according to research by some specialists on the subject. Wine is an art and you can enjoy art without much explanation. Just make sure to contemplate it.

The last word is the brain for the total sensation

Finally, the study of chemistry, psychology, physiology, and perceptions improves our appreciation for the taste, aroma, and mouthfeel of wine. A wine lover becomes more consistent in the descriptions of their favorite wines as their vocabulary improves. As we all know, a person's vocabulary improves with age and education and that also seems to be a fact with wine; more experiences come with time and cognitive assimilation of facts. The enjoyment of wine is not ephemeral; it is enduring over time through the years. We hope you liked today’s article! Cheers!

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  • Fabianni Posteraro