Grape varieties

Wine tastes are often compared to other items of food and drink, and these are used in tasting notes as below.

Red Grape VarietyCommon Sensory Descriptors

Cabernet Franc

Tobacco, Green Bell Pepper, Raspberry, Freshly-Mown Grass

Cabernet Sauvignon

Blackcurrants, Eucalyptus, Chocolate, Tobacco

Gamay

Pomegranate, Strawberry

Grenache

Smoky, Pepper, Raspberry

Malbec

Violet, Plums, Tart Red Fruit, Earthy Minerality

Merlot

Black Cherry, Plums, Tomato

Mourvèdre

Thyme, Clove, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Violet, Blackberry

Nebbiolo

Leather, Tar, Stewed Prunes, Chocolate, Liquorice, Roses

Norton

Red Fruits, Elderberries

Petite Sirah (Durif)

Earthy, Black Pepper, Dark Fruits

Petit Verdot

Violets (later), Pencil Shavings

Pinot Noir

Raspberry, Cherry, Violets, “Farmyard” (with age), Truffles

Pinotage

Bramble Fruits

Sangiovese

Herbs, Black Cherry, Leathery, Earthy

Syrah (Shiraz)

Tobacco, Black/White Pepper, Blackberry, Smoke

Tempranillo

Vaniila, Strawberry, Tobacco

Teroldego

Spices, Chocolate, Red Fruits

Zinfandel

Black Cherry, Pepper, Mixed Spices, Mint
White Grape VarietyCommon Sensory Descriptors

Albariño

Lemon, Minerals

Breidecker

Apple, Pear

Chardonnay

Butter, Melon, Apple, Pineapple, Vanilla (if oaked, for example, vinified or aged in new oak aging barrels)

Chennin Blanc

Wet Wool, Beeswax, Honey, Apple, Almond

Gewürztraminer

Rose Petals, Lychee, Spice

Grüner Veltliner

Green Apple, Citrus

Marsanne

Almond, Honey Suckle, Marzipan

Melon de Bourgogne

Lime, Salt, Green Apple

Muscat

Honey, Grapes, Lime

Palomino

Honeydew, Citrus, Raw Nuts

Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio)

White Peach, Pear, Apricot

Prosecco

Apple, Honey, Musk, Citrus

Riesling

Citrus Fruits, Peach, Honey, Petrol

Sauvignon Blanc

Gooseberry, Lime, Asparagus, Cut Grass, Bell Pepper (Capsicum), Grapefruit, Passionfruit, Guava

Sémillon

Honey, Orange, Lime

Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc)

Lime, Herbs

Verdicchio

Apples, Minerals, Citrus

Vermentino

Pear, Cream, Green Fruits

Viognier

Peach, Pear, Nutmeg, Apricot