Wine Words Demystified: Esters

You know the deal, the more some folks learn about a topic, the more shortcuts/slang/acronyms/initials/technical jargon can be tossed around.  I’m here to help you understand those sometimes mysterious words and phrases, thus – Wine Words Demystified!

This week’s word/phrase is Esters

According to Karen MacNeil‘s The Wine Bible:

Aromatic compounds produced by yeasts and bacteria primarily during FERMENTATION.  Esters may be complimentary or deleterious to the wine

Esters are chemical compounds found in all substances.  They are “smell” compounds.  They are formed by the reaction of acids and alcohol, which both present in wine.

In fruit, the same chemical compounds found in apples, or cherries may be found in certain grape varieties.  In a nutshell, this is why  an apple” is often used to describe the flavors of a Chardonnay, or “cherry” may be used to describe the flavor of a Pinot Noir.

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