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Between red and white wine selections there are an almost endless amount of scents coming from each wine bottle. Have you ever seen those wine connoisseurs swirling their glasses while taking in the notes? Allowing your wine to breathe and using your sense of smell for the scents can be a true joy. With the wine aroma wheel in hand, no wine bottle will go undefined by your senses again.
The Wine Aroma Wheel: Proper Use
To those of us who are not wine experts, a wine aroma chart is a great tool. According to Ernest Hemingway, “A person with increasing knowledge and sensory education may derive infinite enjoyment from wine”. I can attest to this personally, as learning more about wine is both enticing and exciting. Many people out there are unable to pinpoint the specific notes in their wine bottles. Extend beyond general terms like fruity and spicy and dive into the world of fine wine flavors. Divided between sections from floral to fruity and everything in between, let us dive deeper into the Wine Aroma Wheel.
Divisions of The Wine Aroma Chart: Fruity
Many of us find ourselves in favor of the fruitier variety of wines. The Wine Aroma Wheel indicates many different flavors brought out by the fruitier wine bottles. Within the fruit sect of The Wine Aroma Wheel exists many subdivisions. For instance, some smell of dried fruit, tropical, tree fruit, berry, and citrus. The Wine Aroma Chart takes what you smell and taste on the surface and further dissects it. Dried fruit aromas can arise, bringing notes of fig, prune, raisin, or strawberry jam. From the tropical wine bottle, you can pick up hints of banana, melon, and pineapple. Then of course with your berry varieties, you can pick up hints of strawberry, black currant, raspberry and beyond. Pinot Noir and young Merlots provide excellent bodies of fruit.
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These wood flavors are often added to the wine during its creation and aging.
Herbaceous or Vegetative Wine Bottles
This may sound strange, but there are actually wines out there that boast flavors of herbs and vegetables. These wines, of course, make for an excellent complement to a variety of meals. Herbaceous flavors can be found in Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, and unripe Cabernet Francs. The herbaceous or vegetative flavored/scented wines range from dried notes to fresher flavors or canned/cooked. These then extend into hay or straw notes, cooked asparagus, black olives, or artichoke. The fresher wines boast scents of cut green grass, bell pepper, eucalyptus, and various mints.
Woody Wine Varieties
What many people do not understand is how certain wines get their woody flavor. These wood flavors are often added to the wine during its creation and aging. Wines have been aged and flavored in wooden barrels forever. From oak to chestnut and pine, there is a long history of barrel aged wines. After all, stainless steel wine barrels did not always exist. Within the woody wines exists Chardonnay and MANY California wines. The wine bottles in the woody division can register as resinous, phenolic, and burned. These additionally break down into vanilla, oak, cedar, bacon, coffee, and beyond.
Chemical Wine Varieties
While this might sound discouraging, there are multiple wines that bring chemical notes with them. This is not a bad thing believe it or not. It is an underlying flavor and scent that is not always notable unless you are well-versed in wine tasting. And once again, the Wine Aroma Chart will enable you to pick up on these flavors. While studying the Wine Aroma Wheel you will discover pungent scents, sulfur, or petroleum. Even further, some wines produce scents or tar, rubber, diesel and the like. Chemical notes can be picked up from different fruits found in Barolo, Barbaresco and so on. There are many a wine bottle that put out chemical like scents.
Understanding The Wine Aroma Wheel
The Wine Aroma Chart was designed to help those interested in wine to properly identify its flavors and scents. There are probably thousands of varieties of wines out there. With a growing interest in wine and a massive increase in wine sales, learning more is never a bad thing. The Wine Aroma Wheel allows you to grab your wine bottle, let it breathe, and really take in the scents and flavors. Not only will it provide you with a detailed understanding, it will give you a new appreciation. A new appreciation for each wine bottle you bring home, and all that lurks within. Together with this chart, you might even discover some new types of wines that you never thought you would like.