The very word honey is itself a descriptor for delight and intense sensory pleasure. The flavour gives us a lust for more and the many varieties of honey owe their distinctive ﬂavour to the aroma molecules in the ﬂowers from which the bees collect. In terms of Aroma Science, most of the classic honey aromas are given by members of a speciﬁc family of aromatic molecules related to one special acid - or one of the esters of this acid.
Professional wine judges describe a honey note in the wines made from the major white grapes – Chardonnay, Riesling, Sémillon, and Chenin Blanc – but typically not in the wines from the Sauvignon Blanc grape.
The honey note is relatively difﬁcult to appreciate, since it often hides behind the more obvious and more strident apple and fruit notes which are found in the classic white wines. You may ﬁnd it easier to detect on the aftertaste. This occurs as you swallow the wine and as most of the fruity molecules ﬂow along with the wine, some of the other aroma molecules linger in the mouth and are detected by your sense of smell.
It is interesting to note that Flavourists often use a honey aroma note to convey the impression of smoothness in different beverages.
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See our Wine Aroma Kit for more information.