Wine 101 Tasting #3 - Fruity & Earthy red wines
Wine Varietals in Wine Tasting #3
Wine Words in Wine Tasting #3
Body, Tannin, Acid, New World Style, Old World Style
This tasting features these styles of red wine, Fruity and Earthy. It is a little different than the first two in that it will probably be done with two different styles of wine made from the same grape, Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noirs from California make up most of the our Fruity style. Fruity wines are relatively high in alcohol (14% or greater), low in acid, and very big on fruit flavors in the mouth and on the nose. This style of wine is often referred to as a New World Style, and it often doesn’t pair that well with food.
Earthy wines made from Pinot Noir grapes grown in France, on the other hand, are less fruity with more aromas of earth and tart red berries such as cranberry, strawberry, and raspberry. These Earthy wines or Old World Style wines, have more tannins, less alcohol (around 13%), more acid, and pair well with food. Watch for these and other differences as you taste the two Pinot Noirs.
To prepare for the tasting take a quick look at how to organize a wine tasting. If you are ready to buy wine, the suggested wines for this tasting can be found by searching our wine reviews section for Fruity wines and Earthy wines.
Tasting the Fruity Wine
Start the tasting with the Fruity wine, and take a look at its color. Fruity wines are typically garnet to violet.
What aromas do you detect from the Fruity wine? The nose for Fruity wines can be, well, really fruity. Sweet fruit, cherry cola, strawberry, and vanilla are common aromas. Check to see if you can detect alcohol in this wine. Some fruity wines feel “hot” in the nose from the alcohol vapor.
What tastes do you notice? Red fruit such as cherry and strawberry are common berry aromas for Fruity wines. Roll the wine around in your mouth and check the body, acid, and tannin level of the wine. Most fruity wines are light to medium body, with very little acid. (This means they will not make your mouth water.) The tannin level for most Fruity wines is low.
Tasting the Earthy Wine
Now, we will move on to the Earthy wine. What color is it? Most Earthy wines made from Pinot Noir grapes are ruby in color.
What aromas do you detect from the Earthy wine? Earthy wines will smell of tart fruit, as well as damp earth or leaves (hence the name). How do the aromas of the two wines compare? Even though these two wines are made from the same grape, they smell quite different.
When you taste the Earthy wine, what do you notice first? Typical Earthy wines will taste of red cherry, raspberry, cranberry, and red currant. Earthy wines may also display mineral qualities, and they are sometimes referred to as “bright”. This term is used to describe the relatively high levels of mouth watering acid often found in French Pinot Noirs.
What is the tannin level of this wine? What texture is the tannin? Some Earthy wines are known to have relatively high levels of very smooth tannins. These tannins give Earthy wines longer of lifetimes, but can make them difficult to drink when they are young.
What to Do Next…
Now that you have tasted these two wine styles side by side, which do you like better? Search our wine reviews section for either Fruity wines or Earthy wines. Also, you can continue on and do the other wine tastings.