Category Archives: Tasting and taste

Subjectivity ain’t that simple

Today we shall take as our text verse 1 of The Nine Attributes of Greatness, a section of Karen McNeil’s The Wine Bible: No one needs a wine book to tell them what they like to drink. Subjectivity in wine is pretty easy. … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How does a sniff compare to a sip?

I have received no comments directly addressing the issue posed in my last blog post: whether aromas detected on the palate mirror those on the nose or not. However, I did get 34 wine-enthusiast responses to a poll on the UK … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Aroma recognition by sniff and sip

In everyday life, and in wine tasting notes, we often distinguish between what we smell through our nose, and what we taste when something is in our mouth. However, in practice the distinction is not so simple, and smell is important in both … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Quercophobia – the hatred of oak

I usually regard myself as pretty laid back when it comes to oak. Every now and then, a good whack of oak on a wine goes down pretty well with me, and I can tolerate the subtle use of oak on … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged | 2 Comments

Tasting vs drinking

Wine tasting nearly always follows the set procedure described in many places, from “taste like a pro” articles on the web, to WSET courses of various levels. What tasters actually do in practice will depend their environment, which often is not ideal. However, there … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , | 4 Comments

How many identifiable aromas in a wine – my conclusion

I have now done enough scene-setting and pussyfooting around: see my previous three blog posts (in chronological order 1, 2, 3). It’s time for me to nail my colours to the mast and say what I really think about tasting notes that … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

How many identifiable aromas in a wine – tasting experience

I continue to investigate the number of aromas we can detect in a wine. There seems to be a conflict between scientific research, which has shown that we are incapable of identifying more than four odours in a mixture, and the testimony … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How many identifiable aromas in a wine – the science

This is the second post in a series that looks at the number of aromas we can detect in a wine. My first post explained that many tasters claim to be able to identify several aromas in the same wine, while … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How many identifiable aromas in a wine – the dilemma

Tasting notes with flowery language and long lists of descriptors divide opinion: Many wine geeks seem to expect them, and writers oblige, but on the other hand the wine-drinker-in the-street, when not ignoring them completely, will probably dismiss them as nonsense. Personally, I look at them … Continue reading

Posted in Tasting and taste | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Wine appreciation and the sublime

I’ve just finished reading Luca Turin’s book The Secret of Scent, in which he writes: The study of smell requires one to exit the realm of the beautiful to descend into what the German philosophers used to call the Sublime, … Continue reading

Posted in General, Tasting and taste | Tagged , | Leave a comment