Wine is often described as having aromas of fruits, flowers and spices. But, what do you smell when you smell wine?
The most common response from those just starting to like wine is “It smells like wine.” Well, that’s a good start. But, there’s so much more.
The best place to start is with red wines. They have the biggest aromas. And, you need to do a lot of sniffing.
Start by gently swirling the wine around in a bowl-shaped wine glass. This can significantly enhance the aromas in the glass. Then, don’t be afraid to stick your nose into the glass. You don’t need to take a deep breath, just inhale. Give the glass another swirl and take a second sniff.
Now, this is where you have to open up your imagination a bit and think of other things that could have similar aromas. With red wines it’s easy to start with the black fruits. Do you possibly smell Boysenberry, Black Cherry, Plum or Blackberry? Think of the fruits themselves or maybe the smell of jams and jelly. How about Fig, Date or Raisin? In the lighter red wines, you may get a bit of Cranberry, Strawberry, or Cherry.
You’ll need to be patient with yourself and give yourself lots of time and plenty of experience. And, if you’re in an environment where you can smell lots of different wines you’ll be able to compare and contrast the aromas.
Your nose actually plays a very important role in how you taste something. We’ll get into that a bit more next time. For now, happy sniffing and sipping! Cheers!