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Orange Coast Winery

Douglas Wiens
October 25, 2017 | Douglas Wiens

Sweet with No Sugar

What does “fruit forward” mean in the world of wine?

If you have ever heard people talking about wine – perhaps on TV or even just at the next table in a restaurant – it might have seemed like they were almost speaking in a different language. With words like “tannins” and “varietal” being bandied about, you may have thought it was time to go home and find that old SAT vocab book.

While there is a lot of jargon associated with wine, the truth is you don’t need to know about all of the nitty-gritty details to enjoy it or to enhance your tasting abilities. However, it is always good to familiarize yourself with the basics. One term that’s worth knowing is “fruit forward.”

What it is and what it isn’t

First let’s start with what fruit forward isn’t. While it may sound like it, it doesn’t involve the sugar content or sweetness of a wine; it has to do with smell and flavor. When a wine is called fruit forward, it has a dominant taste of fruit. All wine has an element of fruit in it – it is made of grapes, after all – but in many cases, those fruit flavors are intertwined with its other components. A fruit forward wine has more of an emphasis on the grape as opposed to its terroir (uh-oh, there’s another one of those wine words; it just means where it was grown) or how it was made.

If it’s made from grapes, how are there other fruits in it?

That’s a great question with an interesting answer. During the fermentation process when grapes turn into wine, chemical compounds are created. These compounds are identical to the ones found in other foods, including various kinds of fruit. Because there are so many compounds that are affected by an assortment of things, such as differences in grapes and the type of barrel a wine is stored in, this can create a virtual smorgasbord of fruity flavors.

Both a positive and a negative

While it can be a great way to describe a wine, fruit forward can also be seen as a negative quality. For some people, a fruity wine is one-dimensional or simple. However, that doesn’t mean that over time, a fruit forward wine won’t reveal its nuances. And besides, if it tastes good, what’s the difference?

Orange Coast has the fruit forward wine that will excite your taste buds

If you’re suddenly in the mood for some fruity wine, we’re ready to pour you a glass. When you sample our wine, there are many different fruits you’ll be able to smell and taste, including strawberries, cherries, pears, and even pineapples. Our tasting room is open seven days a week, and we’d love to see you tonight.


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