The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Seduced by aroma

NZLN-Aromatic wines-Cameron Douglas

Cameron Douglas MS.

Cameron Douglas MS reviews aromatic wines in the April issue of FMCG Business.

A number of wines are grouped together and classified as ‘Aromatics’ because of the particular scents or perfumes of the grapes used to make these wines carry naturally. Most of these grapes also have very yellow or pink skins. Pinot Gris for example can be mistaken for Pinot Noir, yet when looked at closely there is a greyish (Gris) hue to the berry. Most other wines acquire a portion of their aroma from wine-making intervention, for example the use of wood in a Chardonnay or extended skin contact in Syrah.

Several of the many classic aromatic white varieties were tasted for this months’ feature including Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Würzer, Arneis, Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc. Each of these wines carries a particular aromatic signature, which should be present in the wine’s bouquet and flavours and should also be present on the palate. The most striking of the aromatics is Gewürztraminer. Gewürz means spicy or herbaceous in German so the wine should display spiciness or even a herbal quality on the nose and palate. Albariño should always show lots of fresh ripe peach and light spice on the nose and Würzer is like a Pinot Gris X Muscat X Gewürztraminer – so very aromatic.

Because of the very strong aromas associated with these wines the use of oak is usually little to none, though sometimes very old barrels are used to add complexity or weight.

Wine and food pairing can be quite a challenge for some examples with the best results based on structure, weight and acidity. For example, duck confit is typically fatty, rich, moist and mildly savoury with a particular flavour profile. Gewürztraminer is an ideal match when the wine is also rich, rounded, moist and spicy.

Aromatic wines are also a smart choice for aperitif or first courses with the drier versions having lots of flavour and elevated acidity making them easy to drink and stimulate the appetite.

Find out more about aromatic wines in the April issue of FMCG Business, with tasting notes from Cameron Douglas MS.

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