When you read a wine label, you encounter poetic descriptions about the aroma of wine. It may be made of grapes, but the smell includes a whole host of other elements. They conjure images of fruits, flowers, herbs, spices, wood and even the most intangible, esoteric ideas. The words ‘aroma’ and ‘bouquet’ might be familiar to a wine connoisseur but if you’re just starting your wine journey they can be quite confusing (with time and perseverance, you can train your senses to pick these smells apart).
There are various factors, both natural and a result of the winemaking process, that cause your wine to have the aroma it does.
1. The grape varieties
As you are aware, different wines are made from different grape varieties. The grapes themselves have an inherent aroma which gets manifested when they are made into wines. The fruity, floral and herbaceous aromas can be attributed directly to the grape. Take for instance, the Big Banyan Chenin Blanc. Pour yourself a little wine in a glass, swirl it around, and hold it up your nose. Try picking out strains of yellow apple, white lemon and peaches. Or you can try our dessert wine, Bellissima. You can catch a whiff of flowers intermingled with apricots and pears.
2. The fermentation process
Fermentation is a common process where the fruit sugars are turned into alcohol using yeast. The flavour profile of each wine is brought to the forefront through this process. It contributes to the creation of a range of sensory cues influencing aromas and flavours. Different strains of yeast produce varying concentrations of aromas, depending on the grape varietal used during the wine making process. For example, Big Banyan Sauvignon Blanc has very spicy notes – of capsicum, grapefruit and peppers. These get developed during the fermentation process (as one would not normally find them in grape juice). A different strain of yeast could change the aroma profile.
3. The ageing process
During the ageing process the wines are exposed to oxygen. One of the most tantalising aromas thus created is that of hazelnuts. The other aspect of ageing involves storing wines in barrels for maturation. The character of the wood used to make the barrels seeps into the wine, giving it a lovely fragrance of vanilla, caramel, and sometimes even a slightly smoked smell. When you take a whiff of Big Banyan Cabernet Sauvignon, besides the fruits herby aromas, you can also distinguish the fragrance of oak.
Let’s face it – understanding wines can be complicated. Wine drinking is almost a ritual! Here’s how you can ace the game – by skipping over these common mistakes. When you start drinking wine some things that the experts say or do may come across as fancy posing. Why must I hold the glass a … Continue reading 10 things you may be doing wrong as a wine drinker
Love wine? Love chocolates? Now have the best of both worlds with this wine and chocolate pairing guide. Be it a tray of truffles or a decadent dark chocolate cake, all of us have, at some point, wished for the perfect wine to complement our chocolate cravings.
Where does your favourite wine get its flavour? Why do wines from different regions taste different? What makes a wine unique? Here’s your guide to a wine’s personality.
Do you know what pairs nicely with an evening of fun and friends? A bottle of wine (or ten)! Here’s how you can stock up on wine for that house party this weekend.
Summer is a state of mind. The overcast skies of Bangalore sometimes make us long for warm sunshine. To cheer our spirits, we captured that elusive sunshine in a glass – with our citrusy, zesty white wine cocktail. It’s quick and (ridiculously) easy to make (like all our other drinks). You will find all the … Continue reading A citrusy affair
The name says it all. ‘Dessert’ wine. This is a sweet wine that’s typically served as dessert. Or with a dessert.These wines are typically made from grapes like Muscat, Riesling, Pinot Gris, etc., and are left of the vines till the grapes extend beyond the standard stage of ripeness.
When you read a wine label, you encounter poetic descriptions about the aroma of wine. It may be made of grapes, but the smell includes a whole host of other elements. They conjure images of fruits, flowers, herbs, spices, wood and even the most intangible, esoteric ideas.
Put it down to our childhood, or just the scorching heat, summers leave us longing for a nice, long holiday. This week, we had the perfect opportunity to take that break. We came over to Goa for the Grape Escapade. For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, the Grape Escapade is a … Continue reading Let’s go on a Grape Escapade!
Summer’s here, and it’s official. The languid afternoons call for drinks that are cool, fruity and refreshing. Our absolute favourites for this season are Sangrias. These wine-based cocktails originated in Spain. But today, they are loved the world over. Traditionally,a Sangria was a punch made with red wine, chopped fruit, fruit juice, and other alcohol … Continue reading Strawberry Orange White Wine Sangria
It is just the beginning of summer but the temperatures are already spiking. Cool, inviting pools are a regular feature of our daydreams. Wide brimmed hats, sunscreen and sunglasses are part of our daily garb. But most importantly, we long for ice filled drinks with all kinds of fruity little bits, laced with alcohol. Hydration … Continue reading 3 wine cocktails for Indian summers