Definition - What does Herbaceous mean?
Herbaceous is a tasting term used to describe the fresh-tasting notes of cut grass and herbs in a wine. Not to be confused with vegetal - which is the unpleasant stewed flavor or aroma of cooked vegetation - herbaceous is usually an attractive dimension in a wine.
Herbaceous qualities are usually found in slightly unripe Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, Petit/Gros Manseng and Cabernet Sauvignon. Full-bodied Rhône wines also commonly have herbaceous characteristics.
WineFrog explains Herbaceous
- Black Pepper
- Currant Leaf
- Mint Peppermint
- Tomato Leaf
- White Pepper
When pairing an herbaceous wine, follow the usual pairing guides for that varietal. When done right, herbal qualities should be subtle and add a bit of depth; it isn’t supposed to be the predominant quality in a wine to which you pair a wine.