White Wine Aromas:
Lemon, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Melon, Peach, Pear, Green grass, Honey, Vanilla, Nutmeg, and Smokey Oak
Red Wine Aromas:
Strawberry, Strawberry jam, Chery, Mint, Green Pepper, Black Pepper, Chocolate, Coffee, Tobacco, Vanilla and Smokey Oak
You pour 2 ounces of red or white wine into a small cup (I used plastic solo cups) labeled with the aroma, then add the indicated amount of each aroma ingredient. Allow the ingredient to soak in the cup for an hour or so.
While everyone arrived, we all enjoyed two types of delicious bruschetta, prepared by Christine. For this months lesson, we learned about the olfactory bulb, and how it allows us to identify thousands of smells. We learned the best way to smell the wine aromas is of course, first to aerate the wine by swirling, place your nose as close to the wine as possible, and take a series of short, quick sniffs. Since the human nose fatigues after around six seconds, pause between shifts.
We learned about the difference between a primary and secondary aroma. The primary aroma is derived directly from the fruit, where the secondary or the "bouquet" refers to the complex scents that would not be present without the intervention of the vintner.
We also learned about the Aroma Wheel, developed by professor Ann C. Noble of U.C. Davis to standardize aroma terminology for better communication for both professionals and amateur wine tasters. Last month, the wine drawing consisted of six common aromas on the aroma wheel. We conducted our blind tasting, and attempted to identify these aromas in each wine:
- Barbaresco, Denominazione De Origine Controllata E Garantita, Collection Terroirs 2010, Conti Speroni
- Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011, Lodi, California
- ERA, Terre Siciliane, Syrah 2012
- 6th Sense, Michael David Syrah, 2011, Lodi Appellation
- Decoy, Napa County Red Wine, 2011
After the blind tasting, we sat down to enjoy Roasted Garlic Chicken, delicious organic rice mixed with a combination of fresh herbs prepared by Becky, a bright vinaigrette salad with fresh fruit and walnuts prepared by Allison, and a lovely strawberry shortcake prepared by Caroline. It was a beautiful meal, as always.
Next month we will be studying Wine Flavors. The drawing consisted of a grouping of letters of the alphabet (i.e. A-C, D-H, etc.). Wine flavors should be selected by identifying a flavor beginning with one of these letters. A list of wine flavor terms can be found on Wikipedia.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 23rd, and the dinner assignments include:
York & Christine: Appetizer
Janette & Eddie: Chicken Tikka & Naan Bread
Amine & Caroline: Salad
Stephen & Natalie: Side
Jon & Allison: Side
Mark & Becky: Dessert
Here's hoping for good weather!