Foliage, fruit and flowers
Grass, tomato leaf, geranium leaf, blackcurrant leaf, laurel,
eucalyptus, fennel, camomile, acacia, elderflower, rose,
lavender, rosemary, thyme, mint, dill, capsicum (bell pepper)
violet, white blossom, honeysuckle, lemon, lime, orange,
apricot, peach, apple, gooseberry, rhubarb, raspberry,
strawberry, cherry, blackcurrant, blackberry, plum
This was a workshop that myself and Helen from Edie Rose had been cooking up for a while. We were talking about how she liked to use scented foliage in her bouquets and how evocative scents are, when she started list a few favs I realised some of those aromas are really distinctive in wines so we put the two together on a midsummer evening making flower crowns and tasting using the foliage and flowers we were working with to unlock their aromas in the wines.
Look at the tasting card above. This lists some of the most common primary flavours in wines – Primary being the aromas and flavours that the grape variety itself lends to the wine. You can happily and easily divide them into fruity ones, flowery ones and leafy ones. This becomes super useful in knowing what you like. Are you a fruity wine lover, do you prefer more floral flavours or do you like a more savoury herbaceous vibe?
What we tasted
Camel Valley, Bacchus, Cornwall, UK
Some wines just taste herbaceous, grassy and vegetal. Bacchus is one of them, dubbed the English Sauvignon Blanc, Bacchus is a useful alternative if you like those tart, grassy Loire sauvignons. We were crushing all our greenery, smelling grass and had there been elderflower and a green pepper knocking about, we may well have had our noses in them too.
Colomé, Torrontes, Salta, Argentina
In absolute contrast, we then tasted a torrontes. If you want to know what a floral wine tastes like, get a hold of one of these. Here, we were smelling the jasmine I had growing in the Yardarm garden. The honeysuckle too. We found both aromas easily in the wine and found that some people preferred this style to the more savoury steely, grassy Bacchus.
Free Run Juice, Shiraz, South Australia
To finish, I was thinking of throwing an Italian red in and getting everyone finding herbal aromas and rose petals but them Helen pulled out the beautiful Eucalyptus so it could be one of two wines to finish, either a rich deep Cabernet Sauvignon or this Shiraz from Australia. It’s a lovely weekday one, great value and lighter than you’d expect it to be. We found those notes of Eucalyptus amongst the ripe red berry fruit.
When you are trying to remember wines, it’s hard. We tend to work on label or “That wine we had at the BBQ, the red one” In building up a sort of aroma bank, it means we can, even if we don’t remember all the details, remember why we liked it and so find something similar in flavour next time.
It was a lovely evening and thanks to Helen for making it so chilled and so enjoyable. It’s great just to sit and use your hands and make something for the pure enjoyment of it. Here is a pic of me and Henrietta Inman looking mad in our creations.