Cards of Wine

White Wine Flavors

Acidic Citrus


Citrus
Citrus
Lemon
Lemon
Lime
Lime
Grapefruit
Grapefruit

Lemon, Lime, and Grapefruit have a lot of acid.

These flavors are found in young and dry white wines like Chablis, Dry Riesling, Vermentino, Verdejo, Albariño, and Txakoli.

Italian Pinot Grigio can be as refreshing as a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.

Sweet Citrus


Orange
Orange
Orange
Orange Zest
Orange
Mandarin
Apricot
Apricot

Oranges and Madarins have less acid.

Orange flavors can be found in Rieslings or Chardonnays from warmer climates.

Mandarin flavors are often found in sweet or off-dry wines like Gewürztraminer.

Apricot is normally assosiated with sweet wines like Tokaji.

Apple


Green Apple
Green
Apple
Yellow Apple
Yellow
Apple
Red Apple
Red
Apple
Pomegranate
Pomegranate

Apple flavors are almost always found in Cardonnays, from fresh to dull, from green to red, from tart to ripe.

Green, yellow, and red apple flavors are often used to describe how ripe a Riesling is. In cool climates (Mosel in Germany) Riesling tend to display Citrus and green Apple flavors, while in warmer climates (Alsace in France), the Apple notes tends to move towards more ripe Apples.

Green Apple flavors are typically found in Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Grüner Veltliner. Ripe Apple flavors are typically found in Chenin Blanc.

Pear


Pear
Green
Pear
Pear
Yellow
Pear

Green Pear flavors are typically found in dry white wines like Albariño (Spain), Alvarinho (Portugal), Assyrtiko (Greece), Pinot Gris (France), Arneis (Italy) and Pinot Grigio (Italy).

Yellow Pear flavors, are typically found in fruity white wines like Chenin Blanc, Marsanne (France), and Pinot Gris (France).

Pyrazines


Bell Pepper
Bell Pepper
Gooseberry
Gooseberry
Kiwi
Kiwi

Bell Pepper aromas come from a compound called "pyrazines" and is found in Bordeaux-family grapes like Sauvignon Blanc.

Goosberry notes are also typically found in Sauvignon Blanc. This flavor note is often called cat's pee!

Kiwi notes (aka Chinese Gooseberry) can be found in dry white wines with high acidity, like Dry Chenin Blank and Italian Pinot Grigio.

Herbs


Grass
Grass
Leaves
Currant Leaves
Herbs
Herbs
Herbs
Asparagus

Kitchen garden and herbs aromas are the trademarks of Sauvignon Blanc.

Grass flavors are typical for cold climate Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc (France).

Black Currant Leaves is typical for all Sauvignon Blanc.

Asparagus aromas are typical for warm climate Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand).

Tropical Fresh


Peach
Peach
Nectarine
Nectarine
Melon
Melon
Watermelon
Watermelon

Peach, Nectarine, and Melon have flavor profiles that are both fresh and sweet.

Melon flavors are often found in full-bodied Chardonnays from warmer climates, and in Pinot Gris from Alsace. Melon flavors can also be found in some Rosé wines, and in fruity sparkling wines like Italian Prosecco.

Tropical Sweet


Mango
Mango
Pineapple
Pineapple
Passion Fruit
Passion
Guava
Guava

Mango, Pineapple, and Passionfruit have flavor profiles that are sweeter than Citrus but fresher than Peach and Melon.

Pinapple notes are often found in Rieslings from warmer climates, and in late harvest Rieslings like off-dry Riesling Spätlese from Germany.

Passion Fruit notes are often found in Gewürztraminer from Alsace and in warmer climates Sauvignon Blancs and Chenin Blancs.

Lychee
Lychee
Fig
Fig
Ginger
Ginger
Honey
Honey

Lyche is the trademark of a good Gewürztraminer from Alsace.

Fresh fig flavor can be found in Chardonnay.

Creamy style White Bordeaux can have both fig and ginger flavors if oily Semillion grape is dominant.

Ginger is known as a sweet spice and you find it in fuller aromatic wines such Viognier, Assyrtiko, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris from Alsace.

Honey aromas can be found in ripe Chenin Blanc and in ripe Riesling (Auslese, Spätlese), and in many dessert wines like Tokaji.

Flowers


Flowers
White
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
Roses
Roses
White Roses
White
Roses

Jasmine
Jasmine
Iris
Iris
Acacia
Acacia
Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle

White flowers aromas are typical for cold climate whites like Pinot Blanc, Silvaner, French Savoie / Jacquère, and Piedmont whites (Arneis and Gavi).

Jasmin floral notes are found in Albariño, Pinot Gris and Riesling, and even in some Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Assyrtiko.

Iris aromas can be found in zesty white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Albariño.

Rose aromas are typical for Gewürztraminer, and for warm climate whites like Moschofilero (Greece).

Minerals


Slate
Slate
Stone
Stone
Gravel
Gravel
Gravel
Gravel

SeaShell
SeaShell
Salt
Salt
Flint
Flint
Steel
Steel

Minerals are often used to describe white wines. Mineral notes are connected to acidity, and can be described as slate, gravel, wet stone, or flint.

The term chalky can also be used for flint and slate notes in high acidic wines from cool climates like Chablis and Sauvignon Blanc from Loire.

Steel can be used to describe a metallic taste in high acidity cool climate wines like dry Riesling and Chablis.

Secondary Flavors

Flavors added to wine during the fermentation process.

Yeast Flavors


Yeast
Yeast
Bread
Bread
Nuts
Almonds

Almonds are associated with bitterness. It can come from fermentation, carbonic maceration, or from the yeast. Almond aromas can be found in many Italian wines like Soave and Arneis.

MLF Flavors


Butter
Butter
Cream
Cream
Cheese
Chreese

Butter, Cream, and Cheese flavors are byproducts of MLF (Malolactic Fermentation).

Chardonnay is a typical example.

Oak Flavors

Oak treatment can add flavors of Wood, Smoke, Spices and Sweetness:


Oak
Wood
Smoke
Smoke
Spices
Spices
Caramel
Caramel

French Oak

French Oak tends to taste Toast, Hazelnuts, Savory Spices, and Roasted Coffee:


Toast
Toast
Nuts
Hazelnuts
Cloves
Cloves
Coffee
Coffee

American Oak

American Oak tends to taste Vanilla, Coconut, Sweet Spices, and Dill.


Vanilla
Vanilla
Coconut
Coconut
Cinnamon
Cinnamon

Dill
Dill
Popcorn
Popcorn
Caramel
Caramel

If you don't like white wines with a lot of oak, remember that Californian white wines might be more oaked than wines from other regions.

In Chardonnay, American oak can taste like Popcorn and Caramel.

Tertiary Flavors

Tertiary flavors are the flavors of maturation:


Ginger
Ginger
Honey
Honey
Petrol
Petrol

Honey aromas can be found in ripe Chenin Blanc and in ripe Riesling (Auslese, Spätlese), and in many dessert wines like Tokaji.

Petrol or Kerosene flavors are typically found in aged Riesling.