When COVID shut everything down and I was looking for something to occupy my time, I threw myself into developing a sensory garden geared specifically to flavors and aromas used to describe wine. I didn’t start out to do this intentionally, but once I started to think about all the things that would be fun to touch, taste, and smell, it was off to the races.
I planted all the white flowers and purple flowers used as wine descriptors, and the same with all kinds of herbs and fruit. After two-plus years of working on the garden, just about everything is nicely established and a joy to experience: the aroma of elderflowers, the unique technicolor flavor of a wild strawberry, the sweet, perfume-y taste of honeysuckle nectar, the “garrigue” herbs hinted at in my favorite Rhone varieties. And then there are the vegetables! I love to cook, and pairing wine with food is one of my favorite things. A productive garden makes seasonal pairings a lot of fun to play around with, and I’ll be sharing even more of those here and across social media.
If you have any curiosity at all about wine, look for opportunities to explore those flavors and aromas you keep hearing. I’ll describe them as well as I can with what I share here, but that’s nowhere near as fun as experiencing them yourself and I hope I can inspire some of you to include some wine-inspired plants in your own gardens (or even just a windowsill).