What Does ‘Baking Spice’ mean in Wine?

The almost infinite ways to categorize and describe wines, their aromas, and their flavor profiles can fall anywhere on the spectrum from intuitive to esoteric. So, what do wine pros, wine labels, and your wine-loving friends mean when they say “baking spice”?

“Curiously, baking spice has become a common descriptor for red wines and some whites.”

Varying degrees of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, cardamom, allspice, or coriander-like notes contribute to this red (and sometimes white) wine descriptor, usually as a result of barrel-aging. In Rioja, where Tempranillo is often aged in American oak, baking spice notes are a happy result of the aging process.

“How does a wine come to smell like warm gingerbread and winter spice lattes? It’s because red wine is most often has contact with wood when it’s aged.”

To find out more, read Lauren Mowery’s Wine Enthusiast article “What Does ‘Baking Spice’ Mean in Wine?” here.