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Flavor Characteristics Of Wine


Wines made with the same grape varietal can be very different, yet still have flavor characteristics in common. Identifying these can be a first step in making a great pairing. Here is a sampling of some of the aromas you might expect to find in a few of the more popular varietals:

Photo: Rose Gallagher

Sauvignon Blanc: gooseberry, grapefruit, lemon, apple, green beans, cut green grass

Chardonnay: lemon, apple, peach, butterscotch, hazelnut and (if oaked) butter or vanilla

Pinot Noir: raspberry, vanilla bean, violets, roses, cloves, cherry

Merlot: black cherry, oak, chocolate, vanilla, black currant, blueberry

Syrah/Shiraz: violets, smoked meat, black cherry, mint, plum, chocolate

Cabernet Sauvignon: blackberry, cassis, mushroom, coffee, black pepper, cloves

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