If the success of sauvignon blanc is anything to go by, we drink a fair bit with our noses.
The aromatic spectrum of the white grape that’s been a more widespread cultural and lifestyle ambassador for New Zealand than The Lord of the Rings or the All Blacks is as loud as their Haka.
A smack in the nose of exuberant passionfruits and tomato leaf is what makes it instantly recognisable to novice wine drinkers who have made it such a hit. To more sophisticated snozzes and palates, that same dominating smell can be a huge turn-off. Same same but different.
Let’s skip to another grape that’s even more noticeable in the smelling game. Gewurztraminer.
Many experts call it the most distinctive of all varieties. It’s well documented array of exotic aromas includes rose, musk, lychee, lavender as similar characters to other varieties like passionfruit, gooseberry, limes and tropical fruit salad.
In the mouth it can excite with a crisp, fruit tang, but it can also feel a little more viscous and oily, depending if it has been harvested earlier or later in its ripening regime, and also depending on its regional climatic impact.
In Europe it excels in France’s Alsace area and in parts of Germany, while here it shows up in cooler areas like the Adelaide Hills or Coonawarra, with patches in other places like the Eden Valley.
From the latter, a new release highlights the variety’s joyful perfume.