Aroma-Miracle: Why Wines of Germany are so versatile
In short, a wine can express many flavors. If you put a Sauvignon Blanc and a green pepper next to each other, they both have something in common: a particular fragrance that can also be chemically detected. In this case, it would be "pyrazine". The variety of aromas (fragrances) is divided into primary, secondary and tertiary flavors.
Primary, secondary and tertiary flavors
Primary aromas: they are actually immanent to the grape or in the grape skin itself. These substances are called terpenes and pyrazines and are found, for example, in the rose or the lilac.
Secondary flavors: They are created by processing the grape. This refers above all to must fermentation, during which the fermentation aromas are formed. This produces substances such as decalactone, which are also contained in peach and apricot. This peach scent is also found in Riesling or Kerner, for example.
Tertiary aromas: They are produced during the storage of wines. They then start to evolve when all the fermentation processes have been completed. This produces volatile phenols, including vanillin. Or vitispirans, which include camphor and eucalyptus.
Conclusion: The sum of the flavors is thus determined by the processes that the grapes goe through between vineyard and barrel.
Some flavors are immanent to the grape, others are given to it. Others they have in common with other products such as fruits, but also bacon, roasted almonds or licorice. And that's why a wine can also have a scent of banana or green pepper. The so called "aroma wheel" offers a good overview. (ask for a copy at the closest 'Wines of Germany'-information-office near you).
Can you only smell aromas or taste them too?
In fact, we only smell flavors! But our mouth is not uninvolved in this process. Breathing air transports the fragrance notes via the nasal cavity to the olfactory center. While sipping the wine, the wine is oxygenated and heated in the oral cavity. When swallowing, the aroma-laden breathing air is forced through the nose-throat connection to the olfactory center.
You can learn how to recognize flavors correctly, in our sensory seminars. We offer seminars for wine connoisseurs, trade and gastronomy staff as well as journalists in our headquarter in Germany.