Fruit forward wines typically can be described as having fruitier flavors. For example, if it is a red wine, the fruit characteristics will fall into either the “red” fruit camp (such as strawberries, cherries) or the “black fruit” camp (such as blueberries, plums). If it is a white wine, then it will have more exotic or subtle fruit aromas and flavors. All white wines have some element of citrus, like lemon or lime, and maybe something more exotic like orange or tangerine.
Fruit characteristics that can be commonly found in different wines are:
- Red Fruit – Pinot Noir, Grenache, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Zinfandel
- Black Fruit – Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah
- Exotic & Tropical – Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Chardonnay, Riesling
- Subtle Fruit – Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, classic Chardonnay
Let’s talk about the earth’s influence on the wine’s flavor and aroma. The antithesis of fruit-forward wines can be described as savory, earthy, or herbaceous. Where and what soils grapes grow in profoundly impacts the wine’s taste. Terroir, which is the essence of everything from the place where the grapes grow, impacts the vineyard and ultimately the wine. When tasting a wine that is terroir-driven it can be described as savory or earthy because of aromas and tastes like stones, fallen leaves, forest floor, minerals, wild herbs, dirt, or other earth-based influences. Yes, these characteristics are loved by many.
Though, white wines are not typically described as “earthy” they can have an umami or mushroom like aroma or flavor. Earthy wines are typically red wines and might include wines produced from the following five grape varieties as examples.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir