An assortment of flavors can be detected from many kinds of wine, and many different varieties would have a distinct flavor profile associated with it. For the newbie, the words used to describe wine flavors may sound inexplicable and odd. After all, why would wines be described as having the flavor notes of blueberries or rocks if they were made entirely of grapes?
“Are they just making it up?” The skeptical outsider would say. The answer is a lot more grounded than it seems on the surface. The flavor of a good wine is the product of good chemistry.
A wine’s flavor is based in part on its scent. Its profile is based on the presence of aromatic compounds suspended within the wine. Different groups of compounds lend themselves to different flavors and scents.
The key to why these flavor profiles are noted in wine lies in where aromatic compounds are found. The reason wine tasters can detect the flavor of blueberries in some wines is that the compounds that contribute to the flavor of real blueberries are also found in minute traces in wines.
The minute differences in the combination and proportion of the different families of compounds will translate to significant variations in flavor profiles. Wines with a fruity note tend to be rich in esters, compounds found in flowers and fruit. Sulfuric compounds, meanwhile, impart an earthy, rocky flavor.