The aromas of wine, its three categories


One of the aspects that we must highlight about a wine is the aroma, thanks to it we can obtain information about the variety of the grape with which the wine has been made, the procedure used in its elaboration or the age, among others.

First of all, we must clarify a form of expression so that we do not confuse terms, it is called aroma to all positive impressions during a tasting and it is called smell when the expressions are negative. An example would be the expression thyme or coffee aroma and musty or cork smell.

The wine develops certain aromatic substances throughout the process, from the vineyard to the aging process and, depending on the stage in which a wine is found, the aromas are classified into three categories: primary, secondary and tertiary.

What are called primary aromas?

The aromas that are characteristic of the vine, which depend on the area where it is grown, the variety to which it belongs, the type of composition of the soil, the weather in the place and the harvest. The aromas they provide on the nose are floral, vegetable and fruit (apples, roses, etc.), although they can also give us spicy or mineralized aromas such as white pepper or iodine.

Secondary aromas

Secondary aromas usually appear as a result of alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. These aromas depend on the type of yeast and the conditions that favor fermentation, such as aeration or temperature, among other factors. This type of aromas would undoubtedly arouse the sweet tooth, since they are made up of caramelized, pastry, lactic and even pastry aromas. We can perceive, among others, the aroma of caramel, cheese or brioches.

And the tertiaries

Finally, the tertiary aromas or also called "bouquet", are aromas that have been acquired during the aging of the wine in the barrel and during its maturation stage in the bottle. Its main characteristic is that it is balsamic aromas, wood, roasted or dried fruits among others.

We can also find various aromas of fruit, flowers, belonging to the undergrowth, etc. An aroma of chamomile, skin, leather, honey, smoked, tobacco or coffee among others, are characteristic of tertiary aromas. It is at this stage where we find great complexity that allows the wine to be raised to the status of a master drink.

We still have a lot to learn, the more we get into the oenological world, the more our passion for knowledge and everything related to the complex and exciting world of oenology grows.

Images | Pixabay and William Lawrence on Wikimedia Commons
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