Learning the language of wine tasting

February 08, 2001

Paper: Describing Wine Aromas Is Easy If...
Author: Ann Noble, professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology,
Symposium date and time: Sunday, Feb. 18, 9 a.m. to noon
Symposium name: Wine and Conversation: The Semantics of Talking About Taste
Online program:http://www.aaas.org/meetings/2001/6042.00.htm

Learning to identify and describe the aromas of various wines is a Catch 22 situation for novice wine tasters, says Noble. To develop a mental catalog of different aromas, one needs to have had sufficient wine-smelling experiences and the vocabulary with which to describe and remember them. Unfortunately it's hard to retain the memory of various odors without the appropriate words to describe them, and it's likewise difficult to develop such a vocabulary without sufficient wine-tasting experiences. The process is simplified a bit if descriptive words such as "strawberry jam" or "old socks" are used to characterize the aromas of wines rather than poetic, judgmental adjectives such as "elegant" or "harmonious," she stresses. Noble, a sensory scientist, used the more specific, analytical words in developing her "Wine Aroma Wheel." The wheel provides standard terminology that will help inexperienced wine tasters train their brains and noses to connect the aromas with the appropriate terms.
Contact: Ann Noble, Viticulture and Enology, 530-752-0387, acnoble@ucdavis.edu.

EDITOR'S NOTE: News from AAAS is embargoed until the time of each symposium presentation or news briefing, whichever comes first.

University of California - Davis

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