Science could help sell online wine by aroma

Online wine shops have the advantage over high-street wine merchants in many respects, including the convenience of having a bottle delivered to your door and, often, a greater selection to choose from.

And while you can't always crack open a bottle in your local independent wine merchant to find out how the wine smells, you might still argue that in-store wine tastings are one of the things that count in bricks-and-mortar retailers' favour.

Now scientists are working on understanding what goes into a wine's aroma, and their discoveries could lead to more consistent descriptions of the smell of online wine, helping to overcome one of the few remaining obstacles when you buy wine online.

United Nations University reports that the genome of the Tannat grape has been sequenced in full, helping scientists to understand more about the grape's aroma, and its health implications.

Thanks to its large number of seeds, Tannat produces high levels of tannins and procyanidins, which are linked with positive health impacts including anti-ageing properties, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and healthy blood clotting.

But for casual consumers, it could be the ability to better understand what contributes to the finished wine's aroma that has the greatest day-to-day impact, by transforming the way we buy wine online in the future.

Wine aroma