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A miracle of nature

You can find a list of grape varieties and their characteristics in wine by searching `Grape Varieties Characteristics` (posted April 23rd 2019) . You will note a lot of the key descriptive words are fruit aromas. For example, strawberries and cherries, relating to the grape Pinot Noir. For clarification, in case required, you will not be smelling actual strawberries and cherries, wine is made from grapes.  However, due to the miracle of nature which is fermentation – when yeasts turn grape-sugar to alcohol – certain chemical reactions occur which create new chemical compounds in the finished wine. I refer to these loosely as `esters` (feel free to google).  Apropos of Pinot Noir, these are similar in molecular composition to strawberries and cherries. The fermentation of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, just as miraculously, creates aromas redolent of blackcurrants.  You get the gist. Recognising these tell-tale aromas is useful when you are blind-tasting, but aroma is rarely so clear-cut. There are often multiple fruit aromas, for example. Furthermore, an aroma can be common place, appearing in more than one grape variety. The same applies to wine`s floral and herbal aromas, and to a wine`s spiciness and earthiness.  So, for example, rose petals may be found in wines produced from Nebbiolo as well as Sangiovese grapes.  Again `esters`, folks, not real roses. Anyway, you can see that wine, as a beverage, is fascinating. And there are other smells in wine, too, which have little to do with grapes directly.  These give rise to ever more wordy tasting notes with descriptors such as brioche, honey, coffee bean, mocha, spice and vanilla. Indeed, the processes of aging, in cask as well as in bottle, in themselves give rise to significant changes, in wine`s colour, smell and taste (and yes, more `esters`). I`ll cover more on these in the coming weeks and months. Cheers everyone!

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