So you know how you read descriptions of wine and you’re like, I don’t smell or taste that! What am I doing wrong?! Well I’ve learned that many of these folks have trained their noses and mouths to pick up on these scents and tatses. The smells in your glass are called a wine aromas and is many times an indicator of what you’re about to taste (and sometimes it’s not). There are plenty of wine kits on the market that can help you practice identifying wine aromas, but instead of forking over major bucks for one I made my own. I used things I already had in my pantry and fridge, so I didn’t have to go to any great expense which made it really easy.
I’d opened a bottle of a white wine the day before that I wasn’t wild about so I used that as my base. I put 2 ounces of wine in 8 different glasses and added honey, vanilla, grass, nutmeg, lemon, fig, apple, and pear.
I let the flavors “marinate” for about an hour and then got to sniffing.
I got all of them on the first pass except for the pear and grass. I took a little break and went back to try it again being sure to mix up the glasses and not look down as some of the glasses still had a bit of evidence as to what was in them. I was able to pick up on the grass notes finally but the pear scent still eluded me. When I do this again, I’ll be sure to try a different type of pear. All in all, I was happy with my little experiment. Of course, the next step was to open a new bottle and test my skills. I sense some apple, fig, citrus…
I did the same thing with an inexpensive bottle of Merlot. This time, I used crushed strawberries, crushed blackberries, chopped green bell pepper, a dash of black pepper, an eighth of a teaspoon of coffee, vanilla, a teaspoon of cocoa, and tobacco (shh! Don’t tell my husband I took some tobacco out of one of his cigars).
Again, I let the flavors sit in the wine for about an hour and went to work.
The ones that were a slam dunk were the strawberries, green pepper, black pepper, coffee, vanilla, and cocoa. Perhaps I used too much? Not sure, but I had no problem identifying these. Next time, I think I will use less so it’s a bit more subtle. The two that I couldn’t get no matter what were the blackberries and the tobacco. Not sure if in this instance I didn’t used enough or if my nose just can’t pick up on the subtlety of these wine aromas. So for these next time, I’ll use a bit more. After all of the “work,” I got to engage in some real fun trying out my new skills by opening up a new bottle and pouring myself a glass of wine. I definitely could pick out berries…