What’s Inside #WineWedensday: Phenethyl Alcohol

Planning a romantic evening? Let us introduce you to the simple aromatic molecule phenethyl alcohol. This molecule is going to be your MVP for the evening. From a dozen roses or a single red rose to scattered rose petals or spritzed rose perfume, phenethyl alcohol is guaranteed to help you set the stage for your romantic evening.

Whether you’re using roses or essential oils to create a summer romance scent, drinking wine or bubbles with your romantic dinner, or using a new soap or lotion for relaxation, phenethyl alcohol uses its floral odor to scent them all to perfection.

PS- free tip: don’t forget the rose petal chocolate bar for the cherry on top of your perfect evening.

So, what’s in #WineWednesday:

Chemical Name: Phenethyl Alcohol
Class: Alcohol
Smell: Floral, roses
Color: Colorless

Uses: Phenethyl alcohol is used to create sweet scents and flavors. The smell of rose? The hint of rose in your drink? The floral scent you spritz? The sweet after note in your glass of wine? All of these are thanks to the presence of the naturally occurring phenethyl alcohol.

Where it’s found in nature: Phenethyl alcohol is found in abundance in nature: from, you guessed it, roses and rose oils to bleu cheese and mushrooms to strawberries. Sweeter fruits like apples, peaches, plums and apricots contain the aromatic alcohol. And plenty of tea leaves are filled with the alcohol molecule that blossoms when steeped. Phenethyl alcohol is also naturally found in your Napa Valley, Italian and Ava Winery wine.

Product Goods: Because of its irresistible smell, cosmetic companies use phenethyl alcohol as one of the main fragrance molecules. You can find it everywhere from you hair care and makeup products to your lotion and soaps. It’s also found in key essential oils including rose, carnation, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, and neroli inspiring relaxation, renewed energy and unbeatable focus. It’s so enticing that cigarette companies even use it as an additive. Think we only smell it? Think again. Phenethyl alcohol is found in countless beverages, chewing gum, and candies we consume regularly.

How We Use It @AvaWineryJust like you use sweet scents to help you spice up your romantic evening, we use phenethyl alcohol to create that sweet scent in your Ava wine.

What's Inside #WineWednesday: Vanillin

It’s June! Welcome warm summer days spent with your friends drinking white wines and cool nights spent under the stars drinking red wines. Do you taste the warm, comforting notes in your drink? The one that smells like walking into a kitchen of fresh baked cookies? That familiar taste and smell is thanks to the molecule vanillin.

Facing the Science: Molecules are at the core of everything you love. At Ava we use them to make drinks you love — specifically, world class wine. Every #WineWednesday, you can bet we’ll show up to tell you about yet another molecule that adds to your enjoyment while sipping from your glass. This week you can add Vanillin to your rolodex of new science terms!

So, what’s in #WineWednesday:

Chemical Name: Vanillin
Class: Phenolic Aldehyde
Smell: Vanilla
Color: White / Off-White

Uses: As a flavor, vanilla used as a flavoring agent can be traced back to the Aztecs in the 1500s. Synthetic production of vanillin can be traced back as far as 1874. Since then, the demand of the vanilla taste has continued to increase surpassing the production of vanilla beans. This has caused food companies to produce more and more synthetic vanilla (like the brown bottle in your kitchen cabinet that is, yes, synthetic!) Anytime you taste a mildly sweet and comforting warm note, whether you’re munching on a baguette dipped in olive oil or enjoying your fruit serving for the day, you can bet vanillin is involved. Vanillin is present in a range of edible and inedible products used daily — from your morning croissant and coffee to your spritz of Oscar de la Renta perfume on your way out the door!

Where it’s found in nature: Vanillin can be found in a variety of places in nature, from Brazilian orchids to Colombian coffee beans and even the peel of your Idaho potatoes. It’s in strawberries, cloves, and whole-grains! Those pleasant smells of nature are in large part due to the vanillin molecule.

Uses in Product Goods: The cork in your favorite wine bottle, the whiskey aging in your cellar, the baby powder in your medicine cabinet, and the ice cream in your freezer all have something in common: Vanillin! The molecule is used in all kinds of products for taste and perfumes for smell. And the Cream Soda you randomly crave? Vanillin is responsible for a good deal of the flavor inside the dreamy drink!

How We Use It @AvaWinery: At Ava we use Vanillin to sweeten up your reds, whites, and bubbles. We use the molecule to counteract the tartness of citrus and balance the sharpness of carbonation. Vanillin helps us add warmth to your favorite wines.

What’s Inside #WineWednesday: Methyl Anthranilate

Who knew WineWednesday could also be WayBackWednesday? Take a stroll down memory lane with us: Purple Laffy Taffy, grape Fanta, purple Jolly Ranchers, grape Kool-Aid. Is it just us or do you also start drooling when you think of these super sweet childhood treats?



The Concord grape has given countless candy creators abundant inspiration. After all, Concord grapes are the tastiest of the grape varieties, and the chemical Methyl Anthranilate makes them (and the candies that imitate them) that way! Methyl Anthranilate has been used as a flavor and aroma agent since the early 20th century when grape soda was the popular fizzy drink of choice. Every time you take a sip or bite into something grape-flavored or apple-flavored, you can bet this week’s #WineWednesday star molecule is involved!

Smell the Science

The scent of grapes and the scent of wine are certainly some of our favorites. In fact, ask any winelover and they’ll tell you half of enjoying the wine-tasting experience is breathing in the complex aromas in your glass. Along with some of our other WineWednesday molecules, the Methyl Anthranilate in your drink is what floods your senses with fruity, musty, floral notes that transport you to a vineyard of giant, juicy grapes.

So, what’s in #WineWednesday:

Chemical Name: Methyl Anthranilate
Class: Ester
Smell: Fruity- Grape & a hint of orange-flower
Color: Pale yellow or colorless liquid

Uses: Methyl Anthranilate is used to create anything that might smell or taste like grape, orange, or apple. From baked goods, chewing gum, and beverages, to gelatins, puddings, frozen dairy, jams and jellies, Methyl Anthranilate in a range of doses will bring your nostrils and taste-buds full-bodied pleasure.

Where it’s found in nature or product goods: Whether you are out tending to your garden of orange trees, apple trees, and jasmine, or enjoying grape soda pop, a cup of cocoa, or a glass of wine, Methyl Anthranilate is there for your enjoyment. In nature it is most common in a fistful of ripe Concord grapes, but Methyl Anthranilate is also used to sweeten berry-scented shampoos, soaps, and house-cleaning supplies.

How We Use It @AvaWinery: At Ava we use Methyl Anthranilate to give your fruit-forward wine depth and effulgent grape-y complexity.

What's Inside #WineWednesday: Eucalyptol

Breathe it in:

Friday evening bubble bath.
Saturday morning hike.
Sunday afternoon tea time.

Notice the same smells throughout it all?

If your essential oil infused bubble bath and steaming tea smell the same as your favorite outdoor trail, you can thank our #WineWednesday molecule. That smell is the calming smell of Eucalyptol. From the nearly 700 species of Eucalyptus trees you may encounter on your hike to the essential oil treatments we know and love, Eucalyptol is responsible for the lingering smell of zen, freshness and even, you guessed it, wine.


Smell the Science

Take a big whiff of that relaxing smell of Eucalyptol before we dive into the science of it all. We know that science and zen might not go hand-in-hand, but because of the Eucalyptol molecule, we can have our cake and eat it, too. Like an acai bowl before power yoga or a beer in hand while watching the game, the calming smell and fresh taste of Eucalyptol is the perfect molecule to create an irresistible flavor and aroma combination that is found in your glass of wine from Napa Valley, to Tuscany, to Ava Winery.

So, what’s in #WineWednesday:


Chemical Name: Eucalyptol (also commonly called Cineole)
Class: Ether
Smell: Herbal, Fresh & mint-like
Color: Colorless

Uses: Eucalyptol has a wide range of uses- most studied and some supposed. Because of its pleasant aroma and taste, it is often used in flavorings, fragrances, and cosmetics. Who wouldn’t want to smell like a dose of calm? It’s used in food grade productions to create baked goods, confectionery, and, of course, beverages. When used in essential oils, along with a mix of other essential oils, it is supposed to reduce pain and depression in people with arthritis as well as reducing inflammation and pain when applied topically.

Where it’s found in nature:  You can easily smell Eucalyptol as you take your stroll through the Eucalyptus tree-filled hikes, but it is also found in everyday places- like your spice cabinet. From bay leaves to basil, rosemary and sage, Eucalyptol is found in every good bowl of homemade spaghetti. It’s also been found in our cup of calming chamomile tea and, yes, even in our alternative calming methods like cannabis.

Product Goods: Like your Lululemon yoga pants can be used for a variety of different occasions, Eucalyptol can be used in a variety of products. Because of its fresh smell and crisp taste, producers use it in bathroom products like soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, and toothpaste. It’s used to liven up the Spearmint and Wintergreen gums, candies, and cough lozenges. It’s an additive to create cranberry, ginger and nutmeg flavorings.

How We Use It @AvaWinery: At Ava, we use Eucalyptol to add a touch of subtle coolness and fresh spice to your wines.