Today on the blog we have the lovely team from A Touch Of Class Florist in Perth giving us the low-down on the enchanting and intoxicating similarities of wine and flowers. Let’s be honest, what girl doesn’t love this combo? I am a sucker for the two and interestingly enough wine and flowers have quite a bit in common! If you’re wondering where you’ve seen the A Touch Of Class name before on the blog – it’s because they made my gorgeous flower crown for the 2016 Swan Valley Wine Awards! These ladies know their flowers and also love a good glass of vino.
Wine and flowers are nature’s way of saying, embrace the joie de vivre! We all need to stop and smell the roses from time to time, sip a glass of Pinot with friends and appreciate all the tantalising colours, scents, and flavours that the terroirprovides in abundance.
Intoxicating and enchanting, they share peculiar similarities. Not only do they both symbolise the same ideas – romance, beauty, and pleasure – but they even share the same terminology, aroma molecules, and growing vulnerabilities! The synchronicity gets even more profound when you consider that we make wine from flowers! True sisters of the earth, here are five interesting facts about the connection between sunflowers and Semillon, marigolds and Merlot, roses and Rosé.
1. Exquisite Bouquets – To See or to Smell
What could brighten someone’s day more than a bouquet of daisies? In the flower world, a ‘bouquet’ is a thoughtful arrangement of blossoms and stems. When someone sniffs a glass of wine, they are examining the ‘bouquet’, a term that generally refers to the way the wine smells. If you want to be really technical and impress all your foodie friends, it more specifically refers to the scents that are derived from the fermentation process when the wine is aged.
2. Does Your Wine Smell Like Lavender Flowers?
Wine varietals are often described as having a floral nose. This isn’t just because the scent of the wine reminds us of flowers – they share the same chemical compounds! For example, many red grapes, like Malbec, Merlot, and Mourvedre are known to produce wines with violet notes. This is because they actually contain a-ionone, the same compound that makes violets smell the way they do.
Likewise, geraniol is found in both geraniums, as well as Gewurztraminer, Moscato, and Torrontes grapes; linalool is found in lavender blossoms and Sangiovese; and nerol is found in lilies and Muscadet.
3. Wine Glasses Can Be Shaped Like Flowers
If you had a glass of sparkling wine at your last celebration, you may have sipped from a tulip shaped flute. The traditional tulip shape – elegantly tall so the effervescence won’t hit your nose but with enough of a bowl shape to allow the aromas to shine – is a common design for champagne flutes.
4. Grapes and Flowers Are Companion Plants
It is not uncommon to find roses growing alongside grapes in vineyards. This is because both plants are vulnerable to the same fungal diseases. A rose bush may be planted at the end of a row of grapes as an indicator of the health of the vines. If the roses are bright and blooming, then the vintage should be alright. If the roses are diseased, then the growers know they will have to treat their grapes to prevent a fungal infection.
5. Making Wine From Flowers
When thinking of wine making, most people envision large tubs of grapes crushed into fermented liquid, but wine can be made from many other edible plants. Some of the most intriguing wines are made from flower petals. They can even be made at home with sugar, water, and an acid, as well as tannins and other ingredients to give your homemade wine a more dynamic flavour, with dried fruit and, of course, grape juice. These flower wines include:
- Dandelion Wine
- Elderflower Wine (check out a tasting note on an Elderflower & Apple Wine here)
- Rose Petal Wine
- Red Clover Wine
Both wine and flowers add a special touch to our lives, brightening our days and relaxing our nights. They delight, enthral, and bring us beauty, whether through sight, taste, or scent. Who would want to live in a world without flowers and wine!