Many wine people believe that the greatest joy in wine tasting is the aroma – and they have a point. You can really gain so much information just from sticking your nose into a glass – the intensity of the wine, the development (i.e. how the aroma changes subtly over time) and maybe even the grape varietal (yup, with a bit of practice you’ll pick up that a Sauvignon Blanc can smell quite distinct from a Chardonnay).
When it comes to white wines, all white wines are equal, but some are more equal than others. Case in point: aromatic white wines. Aromatic white wines are loved by winemakers and drinkers alike, as they have dominant floral aromas (such as rose, jasmine and orange blossom) caused by a special aroma compound found naturally in grapes. Aromatic white wines range in taste, intensity, and sweetness. They also pair particularly well with food, especially when matched with similarly aromatic Southeast Asian and Indian cuisine. For this reason, aromatic white wines are highly desirable, especially to those with sensitive palates.
Once poured into your glass, they offer intense aromas in the glass, and can happily be appreciated for anywhere between a few minutes to several times over an hour. If you enjoy scented candles, rose gardens or wonderful smelling things, you will love aromatic white wines. Just like most white wines, aromatic white wines can be served chilled in a white wine glass.
While (unfortunately) many aromatic white wine varieties are less common (such as Albariño and Torrontés), if you’d like to try an aromatic white grape variety locally, keep a look out for the following:
The key to Riesling is its naturally high acidity, meaning the sweetness is beautifully balanced. If you drink it while it’s still relatively young, you’ll taste a beautifully fruity wine with aromas of lime, peach and honey.
Aromas of: Jasmine, Lime, Honey and Green Apple
A white wine born in the Alsace region of France, this wine can range from dry to sweet, and has an unmistakable lychee fruit aroma.
Aromas of: Lychee, Rose, Pink Grapefruit and Tangerine
Wine made from Muscat of Alexandria has a distinctive taste of grapes – yup, like actual grapes (for once!). Muscat d’Alexandria is primarily used for dessert wines as it delivers slightly more mandarin orange, orange zest and sweet rose notes.
Aromas of: Orange Blossom, Rose, Tangerine and Peach