03 August, 2010

A glass full of fruit.

(Image via elana's pantry's flickr)

 Last week I wrote a post about becoming a better taster, using the FEW method: Fruit, Earth, and Wood. Each time you taste, you ask yourself "What fruits do I taste? Is there anything earthy here? Do I taste wood?"

Well today I'm going to make the first question a little easier for you. For both red wines and white wines there are groupings of fruits that are more likely to show up in each. By learning these, you'll be able to find more fruit flavors each time you taste wine.

Let's start with white wines. There are 5 fruit types to look for in the aroma and on the palate. They are:

Tree fruit: apples, pears
Citrus: lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, tangerine
Stone fruit: peach, apricot, nectarine
Tropical fruit: Mango, banana, pineapple, papaya
Other: Melon, lychee

There are 3 fruit types for red wines:

Red fruit: strawberry, cherry, raspberry, cranberry
Black fruit: black currant, black raspberry, blackberry, black cherry
Dried fruit: prunes, figs, raisins, dates

And that's it. Don't feel pressured to name specific fruits. Start by trying to identify the fruit category. Once you are able to identify a category, then go a bit deeper. For example, Sauvignon Blancs are dominated by citrus fruits; once you identify it's citrus as yourself if it's grapefruit or lemon (or both!).

To get better a picking out individual fruits, there's only one way to improve your skills. Taste and smell lots of fruits and lots of wine. Smell fruit in the grocery store, you might get a few strange looks, but it's worth it.

Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. Consider it some of the most enjoyable homework you'll ever have.



  1. So true. Thanks Sandy, my wine expert (=

  2. I am actually planning on hosting a wine tasting party around a grocery store derived list of items that will help people identiy the flavors and textures in wine.

    Very cool!