Wine Tips & Tricks

Updated Wine Flavor Wheel with 100+ Flavors

A useful tool to have on hand while tasting, the wine flavor wheel is a visual glossary of wine terms organized by origin.

The latest Wine Flavor Chart (updated in 2017)

What the Categories Mean

Primary Aromas

Primary aromas are from the type of the grape or the environment in which it grows. For instance, Barbera wines will often exhibit subtle nuances of licorice or anise. You’ll find quite a range of flavors in the Primary Aroma group, including fruit flavors, herbal flavors, earthiness, floral notes, and spices.

Secondary Aromas

Secondary aromas come from the fermentation process, which includes yeast and other microbes. A great example of this is the sour smell that you can find in Brut Champagne that is sometimes described as “bready” or “yeasty.” These fermentation-related aromas are present in all wines at some level and you’ll find that young wines tend to have more intense Secondary Aromas than wines that have been aged.

Tertiary Aromas

Tertiary aromas (classically referred to as “bouquets”) come from aging wine. Aging aromas come from oxidation and resting the wine in oak or bottles for a period of time. You’re probably familiar with the vanilla aroma associated with oak-aging. Other, more subtle, examples of tertiary aromas are nutty flavors, like the hazelnut found in vintage Champagne or the dried fruit aromas, such as fig, that are associated with older red wines.


While an excess of these flavors is considered a wine fault, you’ll find that many will disagree as to whether or not some of these categories are truly faults. A great example of a wine fault that is sometimes a positive characteristic is Brettanomyces. Additionally, some wines are cooked on purpose, to develop toffee flavors. On the other hand, 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole or cork taint is a fault that affects up to 3% of wines that are bottled with natural cork.

The Science of Wine Aromas: Read more about where wine aromas come from. See Article


List of Wine Flavors

Primary Aromas

  • Flower
  • Iris
  • Peony
  • Elderflower
  • Acacia
  • Lilac
  • Jasmine
  • Honeysuckle
  • Violet
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Potpourri
  • Hibiscus
  • Citrus
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Marmalade
  • Tree Fruit
  • Quince
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Nectarine
  • Peach
  • Apricot
  • Persimmon
  • Tropical Fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Guava
  • Passion Fruit
  • Lychee
  • Bubblegum
  • Red Fruit
  • Cranberry
  • Red Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Sour Cherry
  • Strawberry
  • Cherry
  • Raspberry

Primary Aromas (Cont’d)

  • Black Fruit
  • Boysenberry
  • Black Currant
  • Black Cherry
  • Plum
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Olive
  • Dried Fruit
  • Raisin
  • Fig
  • Date
  • Fruitcake
  • Spice
  • White Pepper
  • Red Pepper
  • Black Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Anise
  • 5-Spice
  • Fennel
  • Eucalyptus
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Vegetable
  • Grass
  • Tomato Leaf
  • Gooseberry
  • Bell Pepper
  • Jalapeño
  • Bitter Almond
  • Tomato
  • Sun-Dried Tomato
  • Black Tea
  • Earth
  • Clay Pot
  • Slate
  • Wet Gravel
  • Potting Soil
  • Red Beet
  • Volcanic Rocks
  • Petroleum

Secondary Aromas

  • Microbial
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Sourdough
  • Lager
  • Truffle
  • Mushroom

Tertiary Aromas

  • Oak Aging
  • Vanilla
  • Coconut
  • Baking Spices
  • Cigar Box
  • Smoke
  • Dill
  • General Aging
  • Dried Fruit
  • Nutty Flavors
  • Tobacco
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Leather

Faults & Other

  • Sulfides & Mercaptans
  • Cured Meat
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Burnt Rubber
  • Lit Match
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cat Pee
  • Brettanomyces
  • Black Cardamon
  • Band-Aid
  • Sweaty Leather Saddle
  • Horse Manure
  • Volatile Acidity (Acetic Acid)
  • Vinegar
  • Nail Polish Remover

Original wine aroma chart made in 2014

Printed Aroma Chart

Quickly identify flavors in wine using the printed version of the aroma chart. 9″ diameter flavor wheel is printed on 100 lb. cover stock paper and made in Seattle, WA, USA.

Buy Flavor Chart

About Madeline Puckette

I'm a certified sommelier and creator of the NYT Bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Find me out there in the wine world @WineFolly