What Is The Difference Between Flavor And Taste?

If we had to state the three essential aspects of wine, it would be taste, aroma, and flavor. You will often see these words in any article about wine (even here in our blogs!)

This is due to the functionality of these terms. In other words, they help us describe the characteristics of our meal. However, one mistake people make is how they use each term in relation to the other.

Taste, aroma, and flavor are not interchangeable terms. Instead, think of them as three separate experiences. Each describes a different characteristic of our food or drink. In order to fully grasp these terms, here is the difference between flavor, aroma, and taste.

What is the Difference Between Flavor and Taste?

What Is Taste?

Taste is the gustatory sense, which perceives and distinguishes substances in our mouth. One of the main things that governs our sense of taste are receptor cells, more commonly known as taste buds!

The taste buds are responsible for the five basic tastes that occur when eating or drinking: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Due to the complexity of wines, each bottle can provide an interesting and diverse phenomenon to your taste cells.

One type of wine that gives you a distinct and bitter taste is red wine. If you were to go to a wine tasting and drink a glass of red wine, some of the first things that you will notice are its texture and mouthfeel. This is because most red wines have a high level of tannins. Tannins are responsible for giving reds their velvety consistency and degree of bitterness.

Another notable trait is their tannic aftertaste. A red wine’s tannins are respons

ible for the drying sensation in your mouth. Popular reds, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Nero d'Avola, are able to provide that beautiful “dryness” for your tastebuds.

While some red wines, like Pinot Noir, have little amounts of tannins; they do retain their signature dryness. The dryness level of a wine indicates how sweet it is. So if you are not in the mood for a sugary beverage, red wines should provide the ideal drinking experience for you.

Woman Drinking Red Wine

Get Tasting With Our Selection Of Red Wine

Uncork a classic Cab from the Californian wine country with our award winning wine, 2018 James & Bell Cabernet Sauvignon. Produced by a winery that’s garnered accolades for its delicious takes on popular varietals, this dry and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon is bursting with rich fruitiness.

Discover our 2020 Iddu Nerello Mascalese Terre Siciliane I.G.T. a uniquely fruity and floral red wine from the sunbaked island of Sicily, Italy. Pleasant minerality calls to the volcanic terroir in which the vines were grown. Silky smooth tannins offer an intense and engaging finish.

What Is Aroma?

Man Smelling Red Wine

Whenever you pick up a glass of wine, one of the first receptor cells that will react to it is your olfactory receptor. This plays a central role in governing your sense of smell. Due to alcohol’s quick evaporation, it can retain a strong aroma.

As simple as this concept may appear, smells serve an important role in our drinking experience. A beverage’s scent dictates your initial feelings toward it. Hypothetically, if you were to try on some perfume at a store, the fragrance can evoke a feeling of happiness. The same can be applied to wines since they present powerful aromas to our nose, as well.

White wines are notable for the terpenes in their grapes. Terpenes are compounds, which are found in white grape skins. These organic compounds are responsible for the floral and fragrant notes in white wines.

Some white wines you should acquaint yourself with are Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris because of their sweet, honeysuckle smell. Meanwhile, wines like Sauvignon Blanc, offer the herbaceous aromas of black pepper, green peppercorn, and sage.

Get Tasting With Our Selection Of White Wine

Enjoy zesty refreshment in our 2020 Due Mari Pinot Grigio I.G.T. Hailing from sun-drenched Sicily, Italy; this dry, versatile white wine follows in the delicious footsteps of the previous award-winning vintage. Gleaming golden-yellow in the glass, this Pinot Grigio opens with fresh aromas that evoke a summer day spent by the sea.

Made from grapes nurtured under the radiant Chilean sun, our 2020 Llama Dorada Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp white wine that’s as charming as its namesake animal. Brilliant yellow-green in the glass, this refreshing Sauvignon Blanc has enticing aromas of citrus and green apple, accented with hints of freshly-cut grass.

What Is Flavor?

Colorful Orange Red and White Wine

Taste is often used interchangeably with flavor. So this can be confusing for new drinkers––who do not know the difference between them. In the wine industry, flavor is a combination of taste and aroma. Our brain is able to take certain traits of a food or drink, and associate them with the food/beverage’s identity.

Considering it can be difficult to determine a wine based on its aesthetics alone, wine flavors help us specifically categorize it. Think of a dessert wine like Moscato. When you consume this wine, the sweet hints of peach, orange, and grape in its aroma and taste will stand out to you. As a result, you will embed these aspects about Moscato into your brain.

This does not strictly apply to dessert wines. Red, white, fortified, and sparkling wines each have their own characteristics which help us classify them. If you don’t want to solely rely on your senses, a wine flavor chart can be of great help.

A wine flavor chart can organize the primary, secondary, and tertiary flavors of your drink. By classifying the flavor’s type and where it is derived, you have solidified the essential features of your wine. When going back to Moscato, a wine flavor chart allows you to see which of its flavors are most prominent––and vice versa.

Get Tasting With Our Selection Of Dessert Wine

Our Villa Amoroso Moscato Vino Dolce I.G.T. is a flavorful, festive non-vintage wine from northern Italy’s Lombardy province. It offers delightful fruity flavors including peach and citrus, along with distinct floral aromas. This light-hearted spritzer works wonderfully as both an aperitif and a dessert wine.

Uncork fruity fun with our Lone Vine Sparkling Winemaker’s Selection Moscato, a slightly sweet, spritzy white wine from an award-winning California winery. This light-bodied Moscato opens with a sweetly perfumed bouquet of citrus fruits and orange blossom. On the tongue, juicy notes of peach, apricot, and tangerine mingle with floral overtones. Flavors are lifted by delicate bubbles with refreshing results.

Wine Tastes, Aromas, And Flavors

All of the drinks we discussed here––along with other ones from the wine region––have something wondrous to offer to you. By understanding their taste, aroma, and flavor, you can fully experience the true beauty of wine––which people have long praised.

So if you are ready to put your skills to test, head on over to our website to purchase some wine! But don't forget to use the code “Wine101” to get 30% off your order.