One of the most difficult tasks in wine tasting is discerning aroma. When your nose is trying to tell you “blueberry” or “pineapple” while your brain is telling you “wine,” it’s hard to disconnect those to organs from each other. Studying wine tasting notes and attending wine classes help, but there’s still that gap between head and nose that’s tough to bridge.
Wine Awakenings, a company out of Canada, offers a series of wine aroma kits and other educational material that is the perfect tool for overcoming the difficulty of picking aromas out of a glass of wine. We use their red wine and white wine kits in our wine classes to help students focus on aromas without the context of what creates them. It works.
The company offers two generic kits, one for red wine and one for white, and specialty kits targeted at specific wines. They offer kits for Cabernet Sauvignon, Icewine, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, and even a Wine Faults kit with examples of what you do not want to smell in a glass of wine.
The kits are comprehensive; the red wine kit includes cassis, cherry, cigar box, earthy, gamey, leather, licorice, mocha, oak/cedar, plum, raspberry, and violets. Each aroma comes in a small bottle with a control top, so you can use the bottle as your scent source. The kits include materials explaining each aroma, and aroma sheets so you can get together with friends to see how good your noses are. Each aroma kit costs $159.00.
Wine Awakenings has also created a more comprehensive kit, called Wine Expert in a Box, that is designed to be a self-contained wine education center. According to company materials, “This unique program contains patented technology which will enable the participant to scientifically understand wine’s distinctive characteristics in order to be able to converse in a commercial hospitality environment. This kit can also be used by the wine consumer to further their personal enrichment. This kit takes the ‘total wine experience’ and transports it into a virtual classroom environment. The kit includes a course manual for self-paced learning, a set of 24 aromas from the most encountered aromas found in wine, the world renowned “How to Taste” book by Jancis Robinson, two wine wheels and the patented Wine Texture Card & Taste Discs.” It’s priced at $399.0.
So: If you’ve been looking for a way to really accelerate your wine knowledge, this is a great way to get started. You can find info on their website, at wineAwakenings.com.