The art of winemaking has been a part of human culture since as early as the Stone Age, and with good reason — people love wine. The refined process of creating different wines has evolved a lot since its inception, but the main element, the grape, has remained the same.
The type of grape and how it is aged gives wine its flavor. Flower aromas are very prevalent in wine so we gathered a collection of common floral aromas and the wines they’re found in.
Before you pour yourself a glass, you may be wondering:
- What is the bouquet of a wine?
- How do you taste different notes in wine?
- Which floral wine aromas are best for my taste?
- Is there a floral wine aroma cheat sheet?
What is the Bouquet of a Wine?
The bouquet of a wine includes the scents that a particular wine gives off relative to its fermentation process. For example, the type of barrel the wine ages in can have an impact. Another similar element is wine aroma, which is derived from the types of grapes used to make the wine.
In casual settings, these terms are often used interchangeably, but wine connoisseurs will note their differences. For the purpose of including as many scents as possible, we have listed both aromas and bouquets below. Recognizing and differentiating these smells will help you have a more in-depth wine tasting experience.
How to Taste Different Notes in Wine
You can taste different notes in a wine by aerating it — this can be done by swirling it in your glass or opening the bottle and letting it sit out before drinking. Both your sense of taste and smell help pull out different flavors and aromas. The best way to improve your wine tasting palette is by trying a variety of wines, taking notes or learning from a sommelier or wine industry pro. The culmination of the different scents in a particular wine is called the nose, which has three overarching categories:
- Primary: Comes from the grapes and includes floral, fruit and herbal aromas.
- Secondary: Comes from the particular winemaking method and includes oak, coconut, cedar, yeast and mocha.
- Tertiary: Comes from the aging process, is more refined and includes spices, vanilla, roasted nuts, dried fruits and baked goods.
It is important to note that everyone has different preferences — you don’t have to love a wine just because a sommelier does! Once you’ve tasted a wide variety of wines, you will start to build up your own palette and preferences.
Floral Wine Aromas for Every Taste
Navigating the different subtleties between wines can be fun, but somewhat confusing at times. So we gathered the most common floral aromas and the information you need to find your best fit. Once you’ve found your favorite, try pairing your wine with chocolate for a delicious moment to treat yourself.
Acacia flowers bring their sweet, honey-like aroma to wine. The smell is often found in sparkling wines that have just been uncorked like Champagne and Prosecco.
- Found in: Champagne
- For someone who’s: Energetic and entertaining
The iris bouquet boasts hints of wild berry and raspberry and can be found in wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Albariño.
- Found in: Sauvignon Blanc
- For someone who’s: Perceptive and determined
Lavender brings a distinct flower-pine flavor to wines like Grenache, Tempranillo and Syrah.
- Found in: Grenache
- For someone who’s: Loyal and laid back
Hibiscus brings a flavor and scent that is reminiscent of semi-tart berries and it can be found in sweet Moscato and Lambrusco.
- Found in: Lambrusco
- For someone who’s: Passionate and adventurous
The apple blossom’s fragrant scent can be detected in some young white wines like sweet Riesling and crisp Champagne.
- Found in: Riesling
- For someone who’s: Enthusiastic and charming
The jasmine flower has a honey-like scent that can be detected in wines like Torrontes.
- Found in: Torrontes
- For someone who’s: Honest and confident
Roses have an unmistakable and classic aroma. Their scent can be detected in wines like Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Sangiovese.
- Found in: Pinot Noir
- For someone who’s: Graceful and romantic
Lilac is often detected in wines that feature a peppery flavor profile, including those from the Rhone region in Southern France.
- Found in: Red Blends
- For someone who’s: Clever and versatile
Elderflower brings a creamy, less sweet flower aroma to many white wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco and other sparkling wines.
- Found in: Prosecco
- For someone who’s: Poised and alluring
Lily of the Valley
Found in wines like Gewürztraminer and Pinot Grigio, the lily of the valley brings a light sweetness to the wine that gives the wine a refreshing quality.
- Found in: Pinot Grigio
- For someone who’s: Introspective and genuine
Violet’s mildly sweet scent can be seen in many reds including Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot.
- Found in: Merlot
- For someone who’s: Glamorous and expressive
Peonies have a delicately sweet smell. Much like the flower itself, the peony scent is found in pink wine varieties like Rosé.
- Found in: Rosé
- For someone who’s: Stylish and charismatic
The orange blossom gives off a fresh citrus scent that shows up frequently in wines like Chardonnay, Riesling and Viognier.
- Found in: Chardonnay
- For someone who’s: Hard-working and compassionate
Fresh and supple magnolias are a staple scent in muscat-based wines. Most people know this wine as Moscato, the Italian name for the muscat grape variety.
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Pro tip: Surprise someone special with flowers, chocolate and your new favorite wine — you’ll have an instant date-at-home ready to go. Or plan a wine tasting girls’ night with floral cocktails or champagne-filled brunch for your best friends. Whether you’re a savvy sommelier or a wine lover in training, we hope your year is filled with great friends, flowers and wine!