Ever pick up your glass of white wine, give it a big swirl, and realize that it smells exactly like a freshly cut front lawn? The good news is, you’re not crazy. Grassy aromas in wine are actually quite common. But contrary to what your first instinct might be, winemakers don’t actually put fresh grass or leaves from grape bunches into their tanks. So why do some wines smell like a recently used lawnmower?
Grassiness comes primarily from aldehydes, a compound in your wine that’s also in grass. Certain grapes, such as Sauvignon Blanc, tend to be “grassier” than others, especially from certain regions, like New Zealand or the Loire Valley. However, when balanced out by fruit-forward notes, these grassy, green notes can be quite lovely in a wine. This “grassiness” also makes the wine killer for pairing with salads and crunchy vegetables, two foods that are oftentimes difficult to pair with wine. These grassy wines also have higher amounts of mouthwatering acidity, making them ideal for hot, summer days.
We’ll raise a grass (er… glass) to that!