Have you ever gone out to dinner with a wine snob? After a careful swirl, she’ll plunge her nose into a wine glass and emerge, raving about “a bouquet of Fijian kiwi flowers, wet granite, Meyer lemons, and freshly cut grass.”
“Fijian kiwi flowers? Meyer lemons? Granite? Grass?” you say. “Dude, to me, it smells like, well, wine.”
How do those snobs come up with all those flavors? An active imagination?
You’re right. It’s that — and a well-trained nose.
So how to train your nose? Start by paying attention to the foods you eat. Next time you’re eating a peach, stop and take a good whiff. Running by a field of freshly cut grass? Stop and smell. About to down a glass of lemonade? Take note of what that smells like.
Smart marketers sell those wine-tasting kits that come with a bunch of bottled smells, but go the cheap way by taking out a bunch of spices and fruits with you to the table when wine tasting. Sniff a freshly sliced apple. Do you detect it in the Sauvignon Blanc? Waft ground cocoa, pepper, coffee. Do you find any of those smells in your Malbec or Syrah?
And when wine tasting with your friends, don’t forget that active imagination. It’s sure to impress 🙂