ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does "black fruit" mean in a tasting note? And how does it differ from "red fruit"?

—Dominic, Murcia, Spain

Dear Dominic,

"Black fruit" is a broad term that includes black currant, blackberry, black cherry, huckleberry, plum and any other black-skinned fruits that you can think of. And "red fruit" is the catchall term for raspberries, strawberries and currants and the like. Sometimes wine terms can be very specific, and sometimes they can be more inclusive like these examples.

In general (but with many exceptions), grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah yield wines with "black fruit" flavors, while grapes such as Grenache and Gamay yield wines with more "red fruit" flavors.

—Dr. Vinny


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