JWL Issue #058: What do white flowers really taste like?

July 2, 2019

Wine Car Boot is a farmers market for wine. Wine merchants, importers and some producers, come together a few times a year in London to help you discover their wine. For £12, you get a tote bag, a Govino plastic wine glass and five ‘tasters.’

Organised as a way to ‘taste your way out of the supermarket,’ it’s a great day of fun where people are most definitely drinking and not just tasting in a formal way.

There’s one more at Coal Drop’s Yard this summer, and then another at Bloomsbury Arcade. If it’s your first time at something like this, and you’re unsure where to begin, I find “tell me about your wines” a great way to find out what you want to discover first.

Now I’m back from holiday, I’ve got a fair few old tasting notes to share with you this week including three fantastic, ready for summer drinkers.


I loved Abbotts & Delaunay Viogner from 2018 (£9.99 from Majestic). This has all the floral notes you’d expect from a viognier, along with some gentle citrus. It’s full bodied and well balanced. Well worth adding to your next Majestic shop.

Roséfine from Marrenon (£11 from Oddbins) strikes the rosé balance very well. This still has that crisp, refreshing quench you expect from a rosé in the summer, but the balance nods towards a wine of far greater quality. This isn’t complex – and I mean that in the most complementary way possible – it’s just incredibly well executed.

“This is my favourite English sparkling wine I’ve had so far,” said a friend who has a very good level of English wine knowledge. The wine in question? Denbies Cubitt Blanc de Blanc 2013 (£27.99) and it is is indeed well worth searching out. Brioche, apples, and vanilla sing in harmony here, without some of the tartness you usually find in English sparklers.


What on earth do white flowers taste like?

For a long time, I read ‘white flowers’ on tasting notes in wines I liked. I had no muscle memory of what white flowers smelt of, but I knew I liked it. The broad category itself was always hard to identify.

A wine friend recommended to look out for jasmine as the centre of the white flower universe. Bit by bit, I discovered and honed in on jasmine, and slowly other white flowers have followed.

For me the great thing about the white flowers aroma, is it often sits with a heady aroma in wines that suit being aperitifs more so than food wines. It’s a signifier of something good to come. And it appears in some of my favourite wines, from southern French whites (like this week’s viognier), but also fantastic chardonnays, torrontes, and chenins as well.

What could I be doing better?

What’s missing from this newsletter that I’m not doing? I’ve dropped the jargon section, was that a mistake? Hit reply and let me know.

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