Flavor Profiles of Red Wines (Infographic)

Wine Flavor Profiles of Red Wines by Wine Folly

Flavor Profiles of Red Wines

Experts will tell you that it’s impossible to define the flavor profile of a wine variety and they’re right! This is because there are a lot of variables that affect the way a wine tastes; from where the grapes grow to how the wine is made. Despite the many differences, there are a few fundamental characteristics that are consistent. Learning about these will not only help you identify what it is you like about wine, but it can also help you find new wines you’ll like.

10 Flavor Profile Categories on This Chart

You can basically sum up the flavor of different red wines by the presence of the following traits:

  1. Red Fruit
  2. Black Fruit
  3. Floral Aromas
  4. Herbaceous
  5. Pepper/Spice
  6. Earthiness
  7. Baking Spice & Vanilla
  8. Leathery Flavors
  9. Astringency
  10. Body


Where’s Tannin & Acidity?

If you’re experienced with wine, you’ll note the profiles are notably devoid of basic wine characteristics including tannin, acidity, alcohol level and sweetness. This is because these terms are not really flavors as much as they are basic wine traits that have a wide range of potential tastes.

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For example, Port is a high tannin wine that doesn’t typically taste that astringent. While high tannin wines are commonly associated with astringency, the sweetness and high alcohol level in Port makes it taste much less astringent than it actually is.


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About Madeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly