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How to Detect Wine Aromas

How to Detect Wine Aromas

Wine aromas can be complex and often hard to identify. Wine professionals use a process of elimination to identify wine aromas. Here are our tips to becoming a wine aroma expert!

Aromas form during grape ripening, fermentation and finally, ageing. Second, they think about any floral or herbal aromas that might be present. Finally, they take into account any other smells that might be present, such as oak or smoke.

These aromas are identified in three groups:

  1. Varietal aromas; smells associated with a certain wine type. Examples include the sweet, floral scents that come in Moscato and Gewurztraminer. 
  2. Fermentation aromas; fermentation and yeast related aromas. These often smell like apple, tropical fruits or berries, but can also evoke spicy, nutty notes.
  3. Ageing bouquets: the aromas that come with age. This is where wood flavours from oak barrels and oxidation comes into play, which produces sweet, nutty flavours. 

By systematically considering each of these categories, wine experts are able to identify even the most elusive wine aromas. However, for the average wine drinker, this process can be daunting. 

Luckily, there are a few simple tips that anyone can use to identify wine aromas. 

First, pay attention to the wine’s colour. White wines will tend to have citrusy or floral aromas, while red wines will often have fruity or earthy aromas. 

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Second, swirl the wine in your glass and take a deep sniff.

Third, take a small sip of wine and let it sit on your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. 

Then you will be an aroma expert!

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