Wine 101: Why Do Wines Smell Like Flowers?
February 27, 2023

Wine 101: Why Do Wines Smell Like Flowers?

Have you ever gotten your hands on a bottle of Viognier or Moscato and heard someone say that the wine exudes notes of flowers – jasmines and blossoms to be specific? It may sound off  because how could flowers possibly be apparent in wine when they’re made out of grapes? But it is possible. Now, the question is, how exactly do producers get these notes inside your favorite bottles? Today, we explain why you pick up floral notes in your glass of wine – and no, they don’t extract their essence to perfume the bottle.

The Science Behind Winemaking

Oftentimes, wine descriptors could be considered fanciful; you hear Peppers, Petrol, Forest Floors, Tobacco,  etc., being used to describe wines. As absurd as they sound, these notes are actually pleasing and add to the overall experience of enjoying the bottle. 

It’s all thanks to Organic Chemistry. Grapes that are used to make wine utilize the same set of elements as all other fruits and plants. Before the fermentation process that takes place in winemaking, the sugars are still consumed with the aromas making it harder to smell other compounds that are contained. However, once fermentation turn all those sugar into alcohol, some of the stronger scents escape, allowing them to be more easily detected by the senses.

The floral aromas that we smell more often than not, come from the grape itself rather than the winemaking process. A chemical compound found in the grape skins of varietals like Viogniers and Moscatos are called Terpenes which are also abundant in the oils of flowers such as Lavenders, Citrus Blossoms, and White Flowers.

How Do We Get Specific Flower Aromas?


Since Terpenes are aromatic, fragrant compounds found in such a large variety of plants and flowers, they can still be classified even further into subclasses with different benefits and scents.


Probably one of the most common Terpenes compound we find in grapes skins. Linalool is what causes the perception of lighter flowers like lavender, orange blossom, lily, and other white flowers in our wines. Often said to have calming properties and is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and neuroprotective. 


Something that is stronger in scent, Geraniol is the compound behind the tell-tale smell of rose petals. Although they aren’t as abundant in wines, notes of roses definitely do not fall behind in the quality of the aroma. Top it with being an antioxidant, wines that contain this compound is sure to make the most out of its benefits. 


Hotrienol may not be as strong or as abundant as the earlier compounds but it still is full of benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-anemic, antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiallergic properties. A compound also found in Linden blossom that brings out that elderflower smell in varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc. More faintly flowery than head-on, this compound adds layers and character to the wine.

What Wines Should I Try?

If you’re looking to explore more wines with floral aromas, our in-house Wine Experts spilled some of their favorite wines that boast bouquets of different flowers.

Le Grand Noir Viognier

This is a bottle that does justice to Viognier's fragrant white florals and unique stone fruit characteristics. Le Grand Noir Viognier is fresh, crisp, and floral to your face. A perfect pairing for creamy shrimp dishes like a shrimp curry on a quick lunch out with some friends.

Terrazas Reserva Torrontes

Reflective of its region, this bottle of Torrontes is fruit-forward and laced with white roses straight from the bottle. Terrazas Reserva Torrontes leaves a citrusy taste in the mouth that amps up the whole experience. A Fresh and sensual wine that is great to take out for a picnic date with your partner, paired with sticks of chicken satay.

Chateau Haut Selve Graves

Yes, red wines can be floral too! Take this bottle of Merlot, for example. Rich and vibrant, Chateau Haut Selve Graves displays a certain fragrance to it. Amongst the oak and the herbs, you would be able to take a whiff of beautiful violets peaking through. The perfect bottle to be had during a night-in with your loved ones shared over some herb-crusted filet mignon or a sage and lavender pork chop.

Regardless, if you’re looking to try these floral wines or you’re looking for others that might better suit your palate, we can guarantee you’d find one amongst the 2000+ wines you could choose from on the website.