Part 1. The overall visual appearance of the wine,
Part 2. The wine’s scent,
Part 3. The wine’s taste and,
Part 4. The texture or feel of the wine in your mouth.
This week we are on to the second step for when tasting a wine – it’s bouquet. To get a good whiff of the wine’s bouquet (aka the wine’s ‘aroma’) you need to give the wine a good swirl in the glass so that the wine has the greatest chance to interact with the air and to allow the wine’s aroma to be released, this is why you need to be careful to not overfill your wine glass.
Once you have swirled the wine in the glass give it a deep inhale. And when you are inhaling don’t be afraid to stick your nose in the wine glass! If you want to really smell the wine then you need to get as close to it as you can!
When you first start to think about and noticed the bouquet of a wine it can be tough to place the scent that you are noticing (the same is true for when you taste the wine’s palate). This is a skill that you will develop over time, from listening and conversing with people who know more about wine, to reading wine descriptions, and the most simplest is to pay attention when you smell things as you go about the daily grind of life.
At the end of the day there is no right or wrong answer to what you can find in a wine’s bouquet, so don’t be afraid to give it a go!
1. Does the wine smell “off”? – this is a simple question of does it smell like it is musty, or something you don’t really want to drink. Obviously if you have not had much wine before this may be an overwhelming decision but after a few attempts at some not-so-ok wines you’ll begin to develop your understanding of what makes a wine smell ‘off’.
2. Different grape varietals have different commonly associated aromas. The aroma’s found in a wine arise from numerous conditions such as the grapes, the terrain of the region the wine is grown in, fermentation methods, as well as the bottling method chosen. Below is a small list of common aroma’s you’ll find for certain grape varietals:
Think: zesty, citrus fruits, fresh/crisp, stone fruit, and storing the wine in oak can lead to vanilla or smoky aromas.
Think: stone fruits, apples, pears, grassy, and like above storing the wine in oak can lead to vanilla or smoky aromas.
Think: stone fruits, citrus fruits, tropical fruits, floral, and oak can introduce vanilla, smokey or even buttery aromas.
Think: fruity, and floral.
Think: floral and stone fruits.
Think: honey, melons, grassy, vanilla, and sweet.
Think: berries, pepper, woody/oaky, vanilla, and earthy.
Think: berries, capsicum, vanialla, and oak.
Think: berries, floral, caramel, vanilla, oaky (if oak is used in processing the wine), and earthy.
Think: berries, floral, vanilla, and oaky (if oak is used in processing the wine).
Best thing to take from this is to always be honest with what you smell whether it seems normal or weird to be coming from a wine.
Until next time!
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