04 Jun Minerality
Have you heard this word? It is commonly used to describe a specific flavor in wine. Science says it is not a real flavor derived from the mineral contents of soil. The dictionary says it is not a real word. So is this another made-up descriptor used to isolate a flavor that may exist or not? One thing we do know is that the word is recognized and so is the flavor it describes when noted in a glass of wine. Analysis of wines described with this word showed have shown similar chemical compounds but the source of the compounds is a mystery. What we can say is that it is a real flavor, even if it does have nothing to do with minerals from the soil that the vines are planted in.
Comparably, the aromas of fresh-cut grass associated with Sauvignon Blanc are prominent but unrelated to grass at all. The flavor is actually a result of trellising the vines in a way that produces more pyrazines. These are what actually create this grassy flavor.
Minerality can also be associated with acidity meaning that the higher acid content a wine has, the more likely it is that we taste something we then describe as minerality. Crisp white wines tend to be described as fruity, flowery, or even like almonds as opposed to the mineral sensation. Reds can exhibit these mineral qualities as well.
While we may not know for sure if minerality is the correct term, it can help distinguish wines to people who may want to avoid these flavors. Whatever the case may be for the term, descriptors are always useful when discussing wine and making suggestions so if a term is known, using it may help someone else decide if they want to try a certain wine.
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