Vol. 1, No. 2, Jan. 25, 1999
© Copyright 1999 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Be that as it may, our smellers may just be the most important organ we have when it comes to enjoying wine. Most of what we regard as taste is really in our noses, where we're capable of distinguishing among literally thousands of aromas in contrast with our taste buds' limited ability to sort out sweet, sour, salty and bitter.
Putting a name to the many things we smell in wine -- from blackberries and currants and apples to such odd aromatics as butter, kerosene, horse sweat and old rubber boots -- can be one of the greatest challenges in wine appreciation.
Happily, there's a useful tool to help us sort things out. The Aroma Wheel, invented by Prof. Ann Noble of the famous wine school of the University of California at Davis, makes things easy by organizing most of the common wine aroma descriptors around a circle ("wheel") with similar scents placed in proximity. Try nosing a glass or two with the Aroma Wheel at your side, and I think you'll be amazed at the way it inspires your wine vocabulary. You can download a full-color copy of the Wheel from wineserver.ucdavis.edu/VEN7.HTML, where you'll also find information about buying it in laminated form -- or even on a T-shirt.
Although Lynch sells primarily to distributors at the state level and will consider mail order only to wine lovers in the relatively few states "reciprocal" with California for wine shipping, he will send his catalog to wine lovers on request. For information, contact Dan Fredman by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to buy Adventures on the Wine Route, it's available in paperback for $11.40, 20 percent off retail, through our Wine Bookstore associated with Amazon.com.
Domaine de Trémont 1997 Chenas ($15.99)
FOOD MATCH: In an experimental cross-cultural match with a Thai lamb curry, the flavors work well but the hot chile peppers and the alcohol in the wine are a bit uncooperative.
Domaine de la Chanteleuserie 1997 Cuvée Alouettes Bourgueil ($12.99)
FOOD MATCH: Excellent with a lamb and mushroom risotto.
Londoner Peter May's delightful Pinotage Club seeks to change that, spreading the word and the joy of Pinotage around the world.
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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
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