Get Nosy: Fruit and Floral Notes in Semi-Sweet White Wines


While it may be a challenge for some Wino’s to hold off on sipping their wine right away, smelling your wine before tasting greatly heightens those first few sips of wine. Between bold reds and light white wines, there is a vast spectrum of flavors that inundate our senses. However, in white semi-sweet wines, the two flavor profiles noted most often are fruit and floral.

Fruit notes typically fall into two major categories: tree fruit and citrus fruit. Examples of tree fruits include apricot, peach, apple and pear. Examples of citrus fruits are grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime. While tasting a white semi-sweet wine like Moscato, Muscat, or Chenin Blanc think about the fruit flavors you smell and focus on the ripeness of that flavor. Everyone interprets scents differently, so don’t be discouraged if you smell oranges while someone else smells peaches.

Common floral aromas in semi-sweet wines are rose, geranium, and citrus blossom. Complex and sometimes considered very perfumed smells, rose and citrus blossom are found in Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Semillon. The scent of Geranium however, is sometimes viewed as a fault if it comes off as too potent in the wine. Like smelling fruit notes in wine, some wine drinkers can get confused if they can hardly smell any note of roses, while another wine drinker may be overwhelmed by the scent of roses in their wine.

Now, if you’re ready to put your sniffer to the test, but want to become more familiar with fruit and floral scents that appear often in semi-sweet wines, try these tips!

Visit your local flower shop and take a moment to smell 3 different flowers.
When shopping at your local grocery store, purchase an unfamiliar fruit.
Invite friends over and host your own aroma lab.