First, the sound of the wine being poured. Second, observing colour and clarity as a sign of quality. Or we might admire the way the wine behaves when it streams down the inside of the glass. And what about the wonders of aroma and taste...
Wine: it's something that absolutely
appeals to our senses.
When we think about aroma and taste in wines the topic is vast. So it helps if we think to categorise these.
The most obvious thing to relate to what you might be smelling or tasting in a wine is fruit. For example, a wine might smell or taste similar to, say, an apricot. Look for this character in the Insight Pinot Gris...
Or an exotic fruit.
Such as a mango. Fresh, juicy, ripe...
Other tropical fruit characters found in wine,
particularly New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, might be
reminiscent of guava or pineapple...
Sometimes citrus will be a character
that is used to describe a wine.
But we should ask ourselves, what kind of citrus.
Is it grapefruit, lemon or lime...look for this character in the
Insight Dry Riesling. It's wonderfully refreshing.
Or you might discover characters in a wine that are more like a red, soft fruit.
Such as a juicy raspberry...a character often used to describe
the Insight Pinot Noir...
Another category to think about when describing aroma or taste are floral notes.
Such as roses, as you might find in the Insight Gewurztraminer....
Sometimes the floral notes can be
very delicate too.
Often deep in the wine as you inhale. An example is passion-fruit flower, which can be found in the Insight Sauvignon Blanc.
A third category to think about when describing characters in wine is herbaceousness.
Such as tomato leaf or tomato stalk. This is a distinctive character found in Sauvignon Blanc from the Waihopai region of Marlborough. Look for this character in the
Insight Sauvignon Blanc.
Some wines might have more vegetative aromas or flavours.
An example of a vegetative character might be
a fresh, red capsicum...
A fourth category to consider
in a wine is spiciness.
And this might be in the form of fresh spice,
such as the root of ginger...
Or dried spices.
Such as star anise, cinnamon or clove; characters that can be
found in aromatic white wines such as Gewurztraminer...
The last category to consider as a
character in wine is earthiness.
Earthiness can come in the form of minerality, like wet river stones, exactly the soil profile at the Insight vineyard. Look for this character in all the Insight wines...
Or earthiness can come in the form of
peat or moss, like the floor of the forest.
This is a character some say is found in the Insight Pinot Noir....
But why is this?
Why are there so many different characters
or categories used to describe wine?
Well, it's all to do with the cycle of life. You see, grapes are very clever and wonderfully unique. They have the ability to mimic aromas or flavours - and it's all about their quest to be as attractive as possible to local fauna. The grapes are wanting the birds to take and spread their seeds. So their aim is to smell and taste as delicious as possible. Therefore, they create many flavours in order to increase their level of attractiveness. In a way, it's remarkably simple, but at the same time,
Some characters are present in the wine due to actions in the winery, such as maturation.
When wine spends time in Oak, contact with the Oak infuses into the wine. Oak can make a wine smoky or woody in character, for example, like cedar. Having matured 11-months in Oak, look for this smoky, cedar character in the Insight Pinot Noir....
So this is what makes the world of wine
so intriguing. They're bespoke
to the place where they live.
And with Insight, the place is beautiful. Pure and unspolit. Each variety responding to the environment producing characters in different concentrations. So it's remarkable to think
about how a grape vine works. And the end result;
so wonderfully satisfying to drink.
The other thing we often think about at Insight, is how wines make you reminisce.
Aromas or sounds can make us think of fond memories. Songs might remind us of a place in time. Cut green grass might remind us of our childhood; summertime. Violets, for example, a character in the Insight Pinot Noir, reminds me of my Nana's garden. It feels good to reminisce.
So here at Insight we are constantly exploring and celebrating the sensory aspects
of our wines.
Think about these categories when you next enjoy a glass of wine: is it fruit, floral, herbaceous or earthy. Or a little of all? When the aromas are prominent and distinctive and the taste flavourful - as with the Insight wines - you'll know it comes from a good place.
A healthy place and exactly as Mother Nature intends.