The Nose Knows

The Nose Knows

pedro_ribeiro_simoes_8_24_15_400Have you ever gone to a wine tasting and when asked about the wine’s aroma, said, “It smells like, well, …grapes?” If so, maybe you need to teach your nose a thing or two. An aroma kit can help by refining your sense of smell.

You can buy a premade kit. Wine Awakenings, for example, sells various 12-aroma kits for $159 per kit. The company sells kits for reds and whites, and most recently, even one for icewine.

You can also make one at home yourself for a fraction of the cost.

If you want to go the home-schooling route, here’s how:

Grab an inexpensive, neutral bottle of white and red. Pinot grigio would be okay for the white choice, and merlot would work fine for the red.

Line up several glasses (one for each aroma want to create) making sure to label each with tape or a sticker. Pour a couple of ounces of wine into each glass. Add one of any number of ingredients to each, and let them all sit for an hour. Remove the solids and then start sniffing and comparing.

White Aromas
• Lemon peel and juice
• Grapefruit peel and juice
• Pineapple juice
• A slice of ripe melon
• A slice of ripe peach
• A slice of ripe pear
• A few blades of grass
• A teaspoon of honey
• A drop of vanilla extract
• Grated nutmeg
• A chunk of caramel
• Liquid smoke (to identify oak)

Red Aromas
• A couple of ripe or frozen strawberries
• A teaspoon of strawberry jam
• A couple of ripe cherries
• Crushed mint
• A piece of licorice
• A drop of vanilla extract
• A pinch of tobacco
• Freshly ground pepper
• Shaved chocolate or powered cocoa
• A sprinkle of ground coffee

The owner of Wine Awakenings, Amato De Civito, says aroma kits help demystify the world of wine. Using an aroma kit will help a wine enthusiast determine which wines are their favorites.

What’s the craziest word you’ve used to describe a wine you tasted or smelled? Tell us below.

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