Smell: Your nose has a story to tell and this will make the story better
Intensity – try smelling the wine, once poured in a glass, from a few inches above the rim of the glass. Can you smell it at all? If so, is it a light smell (light) or a punch in the nose smell (intense)? Move your nose to the rim of the glass just sticking it over the edge. Now what do you smell and how strong or potent is the smell? Finally, stick your schnoz down into the glass and take a deep sniff. The intensity of the wine’s aroma can start giving clues about what to expect when you take a sip or even what variety is in the glass. When you are tasting wine on your own, we even recommend doing this before you swirl, then again after swirling to see just how much the wine has opened up and reveals its great aromas.
Aroma Layers – wines can have multiple layers of aroma – sounds confusing, right? Let’s break it down by identifying the aromas created at the three key stages in wine making.
Varietal at harvest – aromas from the grape itself develop in the growth to harvest stages and will reflect the grape variety and the how ripe the grapes were when harvested. These are the “primary” aromas and will mostly be derived from fruits or even other green plants.
Fermentation – if a wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, there will be no additional aromas added to the wine. If stored in oak barrels, wood, smoke, baking spices and other aromas can form. These will be very strong if the barrels are new, or faint if the barrels have been used for a few years. Additionally, if white wines are stored in contact with the dead yeast cells from fermentation (called “lees”), bread-like, yeasty aromas will be generated. A reaction called malolactic fermentation (MLF) resulting from the presence of unique bacteria which turns malic acid into lactic acid will bring out creamy, buttery aromas. All of these aromas are referred to as “secondary”.
Storage / Bottle aging – just as white wines turn brown with age their aromas change with age. Honey, vanilla, nuts, dried fruit, and baking spices are all aromas which may form. When wine is influenced by aging, “tertiary” aromas are formed.
NEED TO DEFINE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WINE BARRELS AND TASTING NOTES THAT THEY IMPART
VIDEO OF A WINE BARREL/ INSIDE AND OUT- MAYBE MENTION TOAST AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE WINE