The Phenolic Phenomenon

Blind Tasting!

Phenolics, they’re the source of tannins, anthocyanins (color pigments), and many flavor compounds that we find in wine. Phenolics live in grape skins (anthocyanins); seeds, stems, and leaves (flavonols); and oak barrels (gallotannins and ellagitannins). We’re most familiar with how they affect the red wines we love, but some white wines contain phenolics as well, which translates to an astringent aftertaste and/or a deeper color in the glass. A few classic white wines, are more distinguishable because of the phenolic factor, leaving us with an almondy aftertaste that makes these wines fantastic with food. Our three wines today all have phenolic bitterness in common and they’re very easy to mix up, but their minute differences will give you clues. We’re going to brown bag them and taste them blind to see if you can you guess which wine is which.

1.      Ask Madeline for a tasting grid and a grape variety guide.

2.      Taste through the three wines, taking notes on each.

3.      Make your final conclusions and ask Madeline for your results.