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The approach to tasting fruit wine is the same as normal grape wine in that you can use the same aroma wheels and same techniques. The main difference between fruit wine and grape wine tasting is one of familiarity. In essence as we're very used to tasting grape wine you won't often talk about how it tastes like grape however given the range, and uniqueness, of fruit wines you will typically encounter a predominant characteristic (an aroma and flavour reflective of the source e.g. strawberry). Be sure to note the intensity of the main aroma / flavour but ensure, to get the most from your tasting, you look beyond this and peel back the additional layers. Good fruit wine certainly possesses real complexity so treat a tasting as you would a normal grape wine.

Fruit wine, in general terms, is not as suitable for ageing as grape wine. However, like anything, there are exceptions. Some of the sources with higher tannin levels (e.g. elderberry) age wonderfully. 

So with fruit wine tasting you are looking to reveal:

(1) complexity and character; and
(2) possible faults

The four recognized stages to wine tasting are:

(1) look (the appearance of the wine – colour, clarity, density (residual sugars) etc
(2) aroma (the fragrance of the wine using just you nose)
(3) taste (flavours and sensations whilst the fruit wine is in you mouth - includes 'mouthfeel')
(4) finish (aftertaste)

I have attached an aroma wheel below, kindly provided by, as a good framework for tasting and please read the fruit wine reviews, and decide whether you agree or disagree - then tell us!, which go into more detail about the specific characteristics of each.