Now you smell it, now you don’t

Now you smell it, now you don’t

inneraroundtheworld_1Smelling wine and describing one’s perceptions can be vexing, says Scott Carney, a master sommelier and dean of wine studies at the International Culinary Center.

When blind tasting at The Court of Master Sommelier at the Advanced and Masters level, one’s sense of smell is heavily relied upon to arrive at a good conclusion. With only 4+ minutes allocated to analyze and identify each wine, time must be carefully managed.

Here are this master somm’s fool-proof tips for analyzing what one is smelling:

1) Trust your first impression

On the first sniff after swirling the glass, one gets their best “glimpse” of a wine. Repeated sniffing is an exercise in diminishing return, so focus your faculties for that first impression.

bottlenotesmarchphotosommsecrets_two-600x300_v22) Analyze the aromatics of a wine systemically:

--Non-fruit, i.e floral, spice and herb
--Earthiness or minerality (smell rocks or dirt?)
--Presence/absence of new oak

Smells can come and go like the split-second scene in an action movie trailer: did I just smell what I thought I smelled? With evidence from each category, one can begin to form a reasoned conclusion about what’s in the glass.

Happy sniffing!

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