A Taste of Sophistication

Aroma

Aroma is one of the most important elements of tasting wine. Where our tastebuds can only taste salty, bitter, sweet and sour, our noses can detect hundreds of different aromas in a wine. However, detecting wine aromas is a very difficult task to overcome, because it's so hard for us to find a connection between odor and the proper terminology to descibe it. According to W.S. Cain in Chemical Senses, researchers have found that when a person is asked to detect common odors, the chance of success is 40-50%. If the person identifies the aroma correctly the first time, there is about a 80% chance of a correct identification of the same aroma on a different instance. That basically means you'll only get better at tasting wine with a lot of practice. Hey we're not complaining! Here are some common aromas found in the Big Nine:
Cabernet Sauvignon:
Black currant
Plums
Green olives
Merlot:
Herbs
Green bell pepper
Sage
Zinfandel:
Tomato
Walnut
Tar
Pinot Noir:
Rhubarb
Violet
Tree bark
Syrah:
Pepper
Licorice
Sauvignon Blanc:
Cut grass
Green apple
Melon
Chardonnay: Oak
Citrus
Cucumber
Flint
Tobacco
Hazelnut
RieslingGrapefruit
Rose
Musk
Pinot Grigio:
Rose
Guava
Apricot
Unwanted Smells
You don't want your nose to burn after smelling the wine. This is caused by a vinegar smell and often happens when the wine has fermented for too long. You don't want the wine to smell like yeast, mold or sulfur. This is caused by a mold that sometimes infects the cork. Also, make sure the wine isn't brackish, which is caused by oxidation.
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Made 19 November 2008
by Jessica Chasmar
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