Within the tiny minutia of wine (the phenols, esters, higher alcohols, acids, etc.), you’ll find the complexities of the wine’s flavors and aroma. Each of the Grape Varieties exhibits these compounds at different levels and many facets explain wine’s unique flavor: acidity, sweetness, alcohol, tannin, and aroma compounds produced in fermentation.

Aroma: Some wines smell like berries, and others smell like flowers. Another contributing factor to wine’s aromas is aging. Nearly all red wines are aged in oak, which contributes an oak barrel’s flavor compounds (like vanillan) and acts as a conduit to expose the wine to oxygen. Oxidation and aging produce a range of unique flavors to wine, including nuttiness and dried fruit/flower flavors.

Acidity: Wine as a beverage lies on the acidic end of the pH scale ranging from as low as 2.5 (lemon) to as high as 4.5 (greek yogurt).

Sweetness: Depending on what style of wine you drink, sweetness in wine ranges from having no sugar to sweet like maple syrup. The term “dry” refers to a bottle of wine without sweetness.

Alcohol: The taste of alcohol is spicy, palate-coating, and warms the back of your throat. Wine’s average range of alcohol is about 10% ABV (alcohol by volume) to 15% ABV.

Tannin: a group of compounds found in red wines and contributes to the astringent quality of red wine. Put a wet, black tea bag on your tongue for a great example of how tannin tastes.