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Wine appreciation is an art that is carefully cultivated, involving a synergy of the senses to take in all the details of the wine and its flavors.
There are many steps involved in appreciating a good wine. Critical of these is the appreciation of the wine’s aroma. Wines owe much of their distinct flavor profiles from their smells as much as their tastes, owing to the interconnected nature of the human senses of taste and scent.
Although a cursory glance at the wine’s vintage, viscosity, and color can leave subtle clues about a wine’s flavor, only the nose would know what flavors actually are. A good wine connoisseur would always take the time to fully appreciate the smell and taste of a good wine, taking in the various profiles of the aroma.
Because of the importance of smell in wine appreciation, it is important to avoid interfering scents from getting in the way. Kitchen aromas, perfumes, and even pet odors can interfere with the flavor of wine.
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The final part of appreciating wine is to take sips of it. The flavor profile of wine will change as it goes down owing to the interaction of its aromatic compounds from within rather than from without. Besides the initial perception of flavor, the taste also includes the length of time that the taste remains in the mouth and how the flavors acted all throughout.
Finally, wine tasters should familiarize themselves with key warning flavors, typically off-putting tastes that suggest spoilage or contamination.
Bennett J. Kireker, today a New York resident, is the founder of a quarterly wine club that has grown to over 50 members strong. Visit this blog for more on his thoughts on appreciating wine.