I am about to introduce you to the tool that every wine lover needs to have close at hand. Apologies in advance if you are acquainted with this clever little gadget – perhaps I will just be reiterating what you already know to be true. I have affectionately titled it “the tuning fork for your wine”… and just as a musician might use a tuning fork to detect the accuracy of pitch and provide a pure tone to their instrument… haha, my new right hand – the Wine Aroma Wheel – can offer the same impact to your wine tasting!
Hmmmm, for about four months now, the Wine Aroma Wheel has been a recurrent theme/the buzz when having conversations with my fellow wine lovers. Never claiming to be proficient with my knowledge of wine, those in my circle know that I am always on the prowl for anything that will heighten a wine tasting experience… needless to say, I am constantly approached with an abundance of suggestions. More and more, I kept hearing about this wheel – curiosity piqued – something told me that I had to do more than just depend on information and images found surfing the net… so I did.
Just what did I do? Haha – I invested $6.00 plus $6.99 in shipping and ordered my very own! It just had to be tangible… I mean seriously, how was I going to grasp this concept if I didn’t have a wheel to touch and to turn as I conducted my assessment? Maybe not your approach… but for me, it helps. With a quickness I would say that it was money well spent… my 8” plastic disk, with its three descriptive tiers and word placement resembling the spokes on a bicycle, has proven to be altogether enlightening.
I hear you… get to the point, eh?! No problem – here are the CliffsNotes. The Wine Aroma Wheel – created by Ann C. Noble, a retired professor from the University of California, Davis – works two-fold. It is a tool that offers terminology so that you can train your nose to detect wine aromas and become better when describing the various flavorful characteristics of both red and white wine. In a nutshell, a tuning fork for your wine… better yet, your nose!
Yes sir! Your nose! Wine tasting and enjoyment is such a sensory experience… a robust inhale of the wine is just as important as that flavorful sip. They work in tandem. I have found that Prof. Nobel’s Wine Aroma Wheel does afford a simplistic technique for training the nose to recognize the aromas, or scent of the wine. Believe it or not, fine tuning this ability to identify and describe what you smell absolutely will enhance what you taste!
So how does it work? It’s a breeze! Select a few wines. Pour a few glasses. Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Grab your wheel. Starting in the center, find the word that best describes what you smelled… them systematically working your way out, fine tune the terms. Easy, eh?! The website, http://www.winearomawheel.com provides more detailed instruction – even a video of Prof. Noble and two participants giving the wheel a spin. No offense intended to the Professor – the videos were a tad dull – so I would encourage those curious and interested in the wheel to definitely watch, but just remember that the process can be so much more exciting!
Leave it to me… I will attempt to find a way to make anything more stimulating. In my opinion, when using the wheel, the more participants the merrier. Conversation boosts the experience. However, I am not opposed to using it by myself… even when enjoying wine alone, a quick reference to the wheel keeps my senses sharp! It’s just a neat tool. One that is meant for not only newcomers to wine but for connoisseurs as well.
As always… a challenge. Go to Prof. Noble’s website, order it and try it! And of course – tell me what you think. In case you are wondering, I will continue to use my wheel with the hopes of one day having mastered the craft. Haha – perhaps one day, eh?!