Red Wine

How To Determine The Flavor Profile Of A Red Wine

Determining the flavor profile of a red wine can be quite a difficult task due to the many different factors that come into play, including the type of grapes used, winemaking process, ageing vessels, and the vineyard’s terroir.

So many things can impact how a red wine tastes, it’s hard to come up with a wine flavor profile that’s true for each variety. For instance, despite the fact that they are made from the same grape, a Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California will always taste very different from a Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. So, while they are both Cabernet Sauvignon wines, they will have completely different wine flavor profiles.

However, we do have some very good news! According to certified sommelier, wine expert, and creator of Wine Folly, Madeline Puckette, there are some characteristics that you can consistently look for in a red wine to determine its flavor profile. Keep reading to learn what they are and impress your friends with your newfound red wine knowledge!

Red And/Or Black Fruit

Red wines tend to have red and/or black fruit flavors. According to Wine Folly, these flavors can come from red fruits or berries, like raspberry, cherry, and strawberry. And, some can come from black fruits and berries, like black plum, blackberry, and fig.

Floral Notes

Red wines also tend to have floral notes, which means you will be able to smell a hint of flower on the nose. For example, many Pinot Noirs and Malbecs will have a hint of violet in their bouquet.

Baking Spices

Red wines, especially if they are aged in oak, will have a baking spice quality to them, like vanilla, cinnamon, or clove.


Many red wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc have a hint of bell pepper or even green peppercorn in both their smell and taste.


When earthiness is detected in a red wine, it means the wine’s aroma has hints of  dirt, minerals, vegetation, or wet leaves.”


The Body of a wine refers to the wine’s weight or fullness you feel in your mouth when you sip it. Wines that are classified as full-bodied will have a powerful feel to them; whereas, light-bodied wines will be more delicate. The wine’s alcohol level, ageing technique, and tannins contribute to its body. The higher the alcohol level, the weightier the wine. Additionally, wines aged in oak tend to have a fuller feel to them than wines aged in stainless steel.


Astringency in red wine is caused by tannins, which are present in all red wines. It refers to the dry, puckering, or rough feeling created in your mouth when you taste a red wine. Tannins are derived from the skins, stems, and seeds of the grapes used to produce the wine. The longer the wine is contact with the grape, the more tannic they will be. Oak ageing can also increase the tannins in a red wine.


According to Wine Spectator, herbaceous “describes the aromas and flavors of herbs” in a wine. Black pepper is a popular herbaceous quality found in red wines.

The Red Wines Of Land O Lakes Winery

We have a wide range of red wines available at our winery:

  • Pinot Noir (Australia)
  • Winemakers Trio (New World)
  • Super Tuscan (Italy)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
  • Merlot (Chile)
  • Malbec (Chile)
  • Amarone (Italy)

Click here to read our red wine flavor profiles.

Ready to try a handcrafted wine from Land O Lakes Winery? Stop by our tasting room for a visit or check out our online store.