BASAL FLAVOR: SALT
Salt! Salt covers about 70% of the earth, and also at least 70% of what we eat right?
Saltiness in wine is an interesting phenomenon, as referred to above, the ocean, it’s salty! So… grapes that grow on the gorgeous coasts of the world may give you salty wine! We’ve grown up learning to wash our fruit! But when it comes to grapes for wine, that’s a definite no-no. On the skins of the grapes, is part of what we in the wine industry refer to as terroir. Terroir technically means earth/soil, but that term encompasses the entirety of the growing environment for each tiny little grape.
In Australian wines for example one often finds notes of eucalyptus, because the aerosol particles of eucalyptus oil get stuck on the skin and then go straight into the wine! Same with saltiness flying off the waves and onto to the grapes, it will end up in the final product. That said, this isn’t all too common, mostly found in white wines of Italy & Spain.
Salt in food on the other hand, is quite a friendly partner of wine. Salt tends to round off the flavor of a wine, it decreases the flavorfulness of the wine, most noticeably diminishing the so called negative aspects, like bitterness, acidity, and tannin.