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What aromas can we perceive in a spicy wine?

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This part of the wine aroma dictionary explores spicy wine aromas. This is still a work in progress and we will add regularly new descriptors extracted from the wine aroma wheel. 



  • Aroma: Clove
  • Category: Spicy 
  • Type: Spicy 
  • Aroma Definition: Evokes the aroma of clove buds. This aroma may bring back some good or bad memories from the dentist office. Indeed, some disinfectant and other products used by dentists had a clove like aroma. Clove buds have painkiller properties.  
  • Origin: Eugenol and iso-eugenol are the aroma compound responsible for the clove aroma in spicy wines. They are by-products of the oak barrel toasting and developed into the wine aging in the barrel. 
  • Wine styles: Perceived mostly in wines aged in oak barrels.  
  • Aroma Standard: This is an easy one. Drop one clove in a white/red base wine and let macerate a couple of hours. Filter and you will smell a clove aroma.

 Image credit: Dried Clove Buds Photograph by Brian Arthur and released under the GNU Free Documentation License. All remaining rights reserved


Learn more on how to make your own wine aroma kit.

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