Riesling - Aromas

Christina Fischer, Ingo Swoboda

Orange

Why does Riesling smell of citrus, apple and peach? Or even of wet stones, petroleum or smoke?

Interestingly, nature has at its disposal  a particular repertoire of chemical compounds which are responsible for smells and fragrances, and - for economic reasons, one could almost think - are deployed at the same time in various ways: in fruits, egetables, plants and trees, and in flowers, grass and even  in wine.

Indeed, the vine originates from a common genealogy of plants, which in the course of evolution, has developed in various directions. Common features have remained, such as aromas, and therefore the same mercaptan compounds are to be found in passionfruit for example as in the Riesling grape, and almost identical monoterpenes are found in almost identical monoterpenes are found in roses, lychees and Riesling.

Hitherto, about 800 chemical compounds have been identified in wines, which to a large  degree are the same as those in well-known fruits. Our brains function as a kind of library  of aromas that perform a sample comparison between the smells stored in one's memory and those being currently discerned by the nose.

The more smells and fragrances that are stored, the better, more rapid and distinct will be the recall, the recognition and the assignment of these fragrance samples to the relevant verbal descriptions.

Text: From the book "Riesling". By courtesy of HALLWAG-Verlag.
Text: © HALLWAG-VERLAG

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