Tasting Aromatic Wines
Aromatic wines are varieties where the flavour and aromas of the wine is that of the grape. These wines tend to be fermented at cooler temperatures so that the primary aromas of the fruit are preserved, not only known for their vibrant fruit flavour — they also have strong aromatics of flowers and spice, hence the name of the style. Their vibrant scents and flavours are often best showcased by vinification and ageing in stainless steel or other neutral vessels.
Some of these grape varieties originated in one part of the world, like Riesling (Germany) or Pinot Gris (France), and are now widely grown throughout both hemispheres.
Regardless of their origins, these varieties; Pinot Blanc (France), Gruner Veltliner (Austria), Fiano (Italy), Gewürztraminer (France), share one thing in common, an impressive growth in popularity.
The rise of aromatic whites can be tied to two trends: the increasing popularity of Asian cuisine that combines sweet, spice and sour notes, and our love of the ‘shared table’ or dinner.
The same qualities that make aromatic whites so desirable to drink, including pronounced floral and spice notes, can make it challenging to pair them with food, especially if one flavour dominates, such as rose water or star anise. Balance is the key; whether in be a dry or sweet version, fruit, flowers and spice must be balanced by acidity and minerality, not to mention the level of alcohol in the wine which plays a part in matching foods.
Whatever your choice of food—Asian, Indian, cheese, charcuterie or barbecue—there’s an aromatic white that will make a perfect match. The suggestion is the higher the spice level the lower the alcohol and higher the sweetness needs to be for example Residual Sugar (RS) in the wine, try it you wont be disappointed.
Vinified recently held a series of wine lunches at St Kilda’s Uncle which matched some great Aromatic wines with the French inspired Vietnamese cuisine. Vinified guests are still raving about the wine and the wine and food matches.