Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

To a viticulturist, fruit is a synonym for grape, the former used more commonly than ‘grapes’ in English-speaking countries. To an oenologist or wine taster, fruit is a perceptible element essential to a young wine. Young wines should taste fruity, although not necessarily of grapes, or any particular grape variety. During bottle ageing, the fruity flavour compounds in a good wine evolve into more complex elements which are described as bouquet; in a less good wine, the fruit simply dissipates to leave a non-fruity wine sometimes described as ‘hollow’. The word fruity is sometimes used in wine descriptions concocted for marketing purposes as a euphemism for ‘sweet’. Details of grape ripening are to be found under ripening.