Our wine flavor comparison tool, the Vino Chart, allows the wine drinker to easily understand wines based on their flavor profiles. Whether you're a wine novice or expert, you can use the Vino Chart to think about differences between wines and decide which you prefer, and when.
The Vino Chart looks at wines based on how much FRUIT and non-fruit flavors or COMPLEXITY each wine has, dividing them into four categories: BRIGHT, RICH, LIGHT, and BROODING. Wines with richer, brighter, and more varied fruit flavors are higher up on the chart map, and wines with deeper and more-layered complexity are further to the right side of the chart. This wine chart works with both red and white wines.
Using our framework, we can see that there are general wine flavor profiles for different grapes and regions. For example, even though every good Cabernet Sauvignon from California will have its own unique blend of fruit and non-fruit flavors and aromas, most share a flavor profile marked by bold fruit and moderately high complexity. On the Vino Chart, most California Cabernet Sauvignons are either BRIGHT wines or RICH wines.
The Vino Chart shows that flavor is not determined only by the grape variety, but also by the region where the grape is grown and how wine is made in that region.
A case in point is Australian Shiraz versus Northern Rhone Syrah. Both use the same Syrah (or Shiraz) grape, but the two are grown in different climates and different techniques are used to make the wines. As a result, Australia typically creates BRIGHT Syrah wines full of fruit, while the northern Rhone of France tends make BROODING Syrahs with muted fruit wrapped in dark, non-fruit flavors and aromas like smoke, leather, tar, and bacon fat.