Step 2 – Nosing the Wine

It is often thought that the smelling of the wine is the most important aspect of assessing the wine To ensure you get the best out of your wine swirl it around the glass to allow the aromas and character of the wine to open up.

What your looking for are faults such as cork taint which makes the wine smell of musty wet cardboard. Just to clarify cork pieces in the wine is not a corked wine, either pick it out with your fingers or send it back. These pieces are due to bad opening of the wine. Other faults are excessive sulphur dioxide which gives off a burnt match smell often found in cheap white wine over used as a preservative.

Next is the intensity and aromas of the wine. Do you have to really sniff to get any flavours? Does it jump out the glass? Are they fresh fruits? Dried fruits? If your blind tasting all these elements help in trying to analyse the grape and age of the wine. The fresher the fruit the younger the wine may be, once you have dried fruit this is showing wine going in to maturity. Are there other elements such as herbaceous or farmyard?

Your nose can apparently distinguish between 10,000 different smells! The organ that can do this is in the upper nasal cavity, in normal every day breathing the air doesn’t reach this part but by opening it up and giving a huge sniff you’ll be working it!

So get your nose in your next glass of wine. To help you remember you could take notes, this may seem a bit geeky but it really helps.