The term ‘green’ is used commonly in the wine world, but its meaning can be ambiguous. With descriptive terms such as ‘banana aroma’ or ‘sweet taste’, there is generally a universal understanding of what is meant. Similarly, when someone uses the term ‘green’ to describe a colour, it is clear what is being communicated. However, what do people mean when they use ‘green’ to describe a flavour? 

The AWRI sensory team set out to investigate the different attributes that could be associated with the term ‘green’ in Cabernet Sauvignon wines, using the AWRI’s trained descriptive analysis panel, a winemaker panel, and an untrained consumer panel. 
 
The study forms part of a wider project assessing the contribution of volatile and non-volatile compounds to ‘green’ flavour in red wine. Avoidance of ‘green’ characters, especially in red wines, through harvest timing and other interventions is a major concern for winemakers, and better understanding of which components in wine give rise to specific undesirable flavours could greatly assist with decision-making.