Ask a Wino – Wine Sniffing


C4 Deli Resident Bartender, Wine Purchaser and Texas native James Wall is the person you want on your best buddy list. Look out for his ‘red and white’ insight every Wednesday on ourWino Wednesday: Ask A Wino Q&A.

Q:What’s with all the wine sniffing? Can you actually identify aromas like toast and cherries?

A: I was never one to pay much attention in science class, however this fact has to do with wine, so of course I have it memorized. Science has proven that smell and taste have been significantly linked in the brain. With the loss of smell, comes a significant decrease in the amount of taste able to be experienced in both wine and food. Recall the last time you had a bad cold; chances are your meals were not nearly as enjoyable as usual, that is because your sense of smell was most likely off.james hall 2

Sniffing wine is an important part of the overall process of enjoying wine and discovering which types suit your personal palette the best. Through the process, you may be able to judge whether or not you will love or hate a particular glass of wine, without having to take one single sip.

First off, it is important to gently swirl your wine in the glass prior to sniffing it, this allows for the aromatic compounds found within the wine to vaporize, making it easier to detect smells. Next, it may help to keep your mouth open slightly while you inhale. Some people also find it helpful to keep one nostril closed while sniffing. Whichever route you may choose allow yourself to fully engage in what the aroma brings to mind. It is possible to train your nose to become a better “smeller”. Do this through taking the time to smell ever ingredient you use to cook with, along with different elements surrounding your environment. You should also be careful not to confuse the smells around you as the aroma coming from your wine glass- if you smell marinara chances are it is coming from your food not your wine. Overall make sure to have an enjoyable experience and don’t overthink too much.