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Wine Aroma Wheel | The Wine Virgin
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Wine Aroma Wheel

March 12, 2008

Will you please tell me what a wine aroma wheel is and possibly where I can get one? Thank you! - Fiona in Tuscon, AZ

The wine scientists at the University of California at Davis many years ago developed this tool as an aid to wine virgins and experts as well. They then organized and categorized these smells and left out all that was not perfectly clear. From there they ended up with a list of 12 major categories of wine smells, subdivided into 29 subcategories and in 94 specific terms. This makes it much easier to arrive at a standardized format for classifying this information.

The wheel is an incredibly useful tool to learn about wines and enhance one’s ability to describe the complexity of wine flavor. The wide variety of wine that this world has to offer allows for thousands of scents in an almost infinite combination. It’s called an aroma wheel because it is a circular table, with relatively similar smells placed close together around its circumference. The wine aroma wheel is made of three tiers. This provides very general terms located in the center which then proceeds to the most specific terms in the outer tier.

These terms are not the only ones that can be used to describe wines but are those that you will most often find. Whether you are a beginner or a wine connoisseur, the use of the wheel during wine tasting will facilitate the description of the flavors you perceive. More importantly, you will be able to recognize and remember specific details about wines and will develop confidence in your ability by practicing with the aroma wheel if a wine really worth your time and expense.

Fiona, look online for to order a proper wine aroma wheel or you might be able to find one that you can download to check it out and get an idea of the various aromas and flavors. Cheers!!

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