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Herbaceous vs. vegetal in whites and reds


Wine 17

Herbaceous vs. vegetal in whites and reds

Yaqo Homo | Jun 2, 2007 09:24 PM

I lack the expertise of some of the posters to this board, but I've tasted enough wines and read enough tasting notes to understand the difference between and vegetal and herbaceous. Vegetal is the unpleasant "stewed" flavor or armoa of cooked bell peppers or boiled asparagus or brussels sprouts. Herbaceous--more positive--describes the fresh-tasting notes of cut grass, herbs etc. I've had a few awful, vegetal reds and many lovely, herbaceous whites.

But can reds be herbaceous? I'm enjoying a zin tonight that seems full of fresh fennel, italian parsley, spring peas, a very subtle note of mint, maybe some ganja--along with the more oaky and peppery notes one would expect. The herbaceousness is very pronounced.

Is this normal, or am I going crazy? Can reds have that alfalfa/fresh meadow/herby spring rainfall zing that I've tasted in some of my favorite white wines?

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