Free in-store delivery with purchases of $75+ in an estimated 3 to 5 business days.

    For all the information on the ongoing negotiation and which stores are open today, please visit this page

For our business customers, please visit this page

   Technical issue: All features of the Inspire program are temporarily unavailable. 

The Charter of the French language and its regulations govern the consultation of English language content.

wines aromas

Tasting and service

Wine’s many aromas

Here’s your chance to test your knowledge of the aromas common to certain popular grape varieties.

Published on October 20, 2020

A sommelier’s choices in the cellar can make a whole world of difference. But each grape has its own particular aromas that help a taster to identify it.

Smell and aromas

Even though the first step to tasting a wine involves sight, it’s smell that plays the most important role. The olfactory bulb is a powerful tool that allows you to identify a wine’s aromas.

 “Smell is an extremely powerful sense, but it’s completely underused. And the memory of aromas? Even less so. Here’s a simple exercise: fill several small opaque pots (yogurt cups or cardboard cups) with different aromatic substances (fruits, spices, fresh herbs, chocolate, peanut butter, coffee, soy sauce, the list goes on), cover them with a piece of aluminum foil, in which you’ve poked two or three small holes, and ask people to smell and to identify. You would be surprised how, when blinded like this, people have a hard time discerning common scents. The results are very revealing of our olfactory capacity. It’s an exercise that has always been a part of my wine pedagogy” – Véronique Rivest, sommelier.

Here’s an excerpt from Véronique Rivest’s text “The senses and words of wine”.

Test your knowledge of the main aromas of the following grape varieties by filling in the missing aroma:

White grape varieties:

Chardonnay: lemon, ________, acacia, _______, vanilla, _______, ________.

Chenin blanc: ________, chamomile, ______, pear, _________.

Riesling: _________, flint, ______________.

Sauvignon blanc: ________, freshly cut grass, ______.


Red grape varieties:

Grenache: cocoa, ____________, spices, _______, wild blackberry, ________, _____, heath.

Cabernet-sauvignon: cassis, _______, blackberry, _____________, mint.

Merlot: _____, spices, _______.

Pinot noir: _______, wild strawberry, _____, cherry, _______, cassis, ____, clove, __________.


White grape varieties:

Chardonnay: lemon, apple, acacia, toast, vanilla, butter, almond.

Chenin blanc: apricot, chamomile, honey, pear, linden.

Riesling: lemon, flint, gasoline.

Sauvignon blanc: lemon, freshly cut grass, box tree.


Red grape varieties:

Grenache: cocoa, raspberry, spices, coffee, wild blackberry, pear, plum, heath.

Cabernet-sauvignon: cassis, cedar, blackberry, green pepper, mint.

Merlot: plum, spices, blackberry.

Pinot noir: Morello cherry, wild strawberry, pepper, cherry, violets, cassis, leather, clove, plum.

Related Posts