I treated my senses to a relaxing afternoon of flower arranging in a beautiful perfume store! It was an fantastic sensory experience sharing a lot in common with wine tasting. We explored the different textures of flowers, grass and leaves. The beautiful vibrant colours, fresh bright scents, green leafy earth aromas reminded me of wine tasting notes. It was very relaxing, I slowed down and enjoyed creating my floral display.
The perfumes we sampled echoed the fragrances of the flowers. I am often asked, how do floral flavours get into wine? Are flowers and grasses ground up or marinated in grape juice? If a wine has notes of honeysuckle, has the wine got honeysuckle in it?
The answer is no. Wine is produced using vitis vinifera grapes. All the familiar names are on this family tree! Sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and malbec are all related and have similar properties but different aromatic makeup. A sauvignon blanc grape produces a different flavour in wine to a chardonnay grape. When a winemaker is making a wine, the flavour of the wine is determined by the grape, fermentation process and method of storage.
The simplest aromas, like melon or apple, come from the skin and flesh of the grape while the more complex aromatics come from the chemical changes in the wine over time.
When we smell an aroma that reminds us of honeysuckle, we are smelling the same volatile chemical compound found in honeysuckle but the smell is from the grape.
This summer I encourage everyone to slow down, enjoy a glass of wine, smell the roses and your rosé!