In terms of wine descriptors, what is "garrigue"?

Ask Dr Vinny

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 "garrigue"?

—Vas, Greece

Dear Vas,

Garrigue” is a French term for the wild hillside vegetation of the Mediterranean Coast. Instead of describing a single aroma in a wine, “garrigue” refers to a mix of lavender, juniper, thyme, rosemary and sage.

Some similar terms from around the world include the Greek “phrygana,” "fynbos" in South Africa and, in California, “chaparral.” If you’ve ever gone for a hike among low-lying shrubs and noticed the fragrance from your boots kicking the vegetation, you may be familiar with this smell. It’s also similar to herbes de Provence, or a mix of green, minty-herbal and floral aromas.

—Dr. Vinny

How to Taste Tasting Descriptors Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

Why are grapes harvested in bins instead of in a big truck bed?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why large plastic bins are ubiquitous in wine …

Dec 5, 2022

What is “reverse osmosis” in relation to wine? How and why is it used?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the science (and the motivation) behind the …

Nov 28, 2022

I need advice on Thanksgiving wines. Which wines pair best with turkey and sides?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers advice on selecting wines for the Thanksgiving …

Nov 21, 2022

What is a “second wine”?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the "second wine" concept and what it means in …

Nov 14, 2022

Is it bad if an old bottle of wine has sediment in it?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains that sediment happens—and how to deal with it.

Nov 7, 2022

Is it OK to change my mind about a wine after I've approved a sommelier to serve it?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains that there's a reason that sommeliers show …

Oct 31, 2022