Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What is a wine “bouquet”?
—Salvino F., Rabat, Malta
The term “bouquet” isn’t used much any more, but it’s a positive way to describe a wine’s aromas, fragrance, smell, odors or scents. The word itself isn’t associated with a particular aroma—it’s more a way to explain what you are describing: “This wine has an intriguing bouquet of coffee and herbs.” I’ve also noticed that some of the writers here at Wine Spectator are more likely to use the term when the aromas they are describing include floral details, which is a nod to the other meaning of the term, which is a collected bunch of cut flowers. (“Opens with a bouquet of honeysuckle and jasmine.”)
Traditionally, “bouquet” is used to describe a wine’s aromas when the wine has aged in bottle and has begun to exhibit “secondary” notes.