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The aroma of wine – Why do we smell wine before testing it?

Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Trying something for the first time is an immersive experience, and there’s a good chance that you’ve seen a person smell a glass of wine before drinking it. Far from an ostentatious gesture, this ritual is a key step to enjoying your wine in all its splendor.

How so? In the moment of tasting, all of our senses spring into action. The aroma that emerges from your glass can provide valuable insights, such as: influences from its region of production, fermentation methods, if it’s a young wine or has been stored for some time…

But, where do the aromas come from? Can we learn to recognize all of them? Firstly, it’s worth noting that all wine aromas are classified into three categories:

The primary aroma is a product of the terroir, that is the taste and flavor imparted to a wine as a product of the environment in which it was produced. Factors like climate, the area where it was cultivated, and soil composition provide a unique stamp through its floral, vegetable, and mineral notes. For instance, if the soil where a wine is cultivated is rich in lime, it’ll transmit greater mineral notes.

Secondary aromas come from the alcoholic fermentation, which depends on the yeast and techniques employed in the fermentation process. Here is where you can find notes of caramel, yeast or even toasted bread.

Lastly, we experience the tertiary, or “bouquet”, aromas that emerge after fermentation and provide us with details as to the type of barrel or the aging of the wine. Bouquet aromas are typically more complex, allowing for distinction of aromas like charred or toasted wood, dry fruit, berries, flower, chocolate, honey, among many others.

Practice makes perfect! Plan a wine tasting and test your nose by comparing the various notes — floral, fruit and spice — in different wine varietals. And while experienced wine tasters possess the talent to distinguish wine aromas, the same ability can be developed by any person with a willingness to train their nose to hone in on these scents.

Get started by experiencing the best blend of aromas and put into practice what you’ve learn with TRIO Wine.


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