The pleasure of the aromas
credits: Dollar Photo Club

The pleasure of the aromas

It’s not always that we pay attention to the aromas when we’re having wine. Sometimes we place our noses on the wine glass merely because we see other people doing it; and in other occasions we realize there’s something there, therefore we can’t properly identify it, nor comprehend its origin.

Aromas are an important feature when it comes to enjoying your glass of wine. They also give us information on the product. For example, during a tasting we can deduct which were the grapes used in the wine’s production, where the wine comes from, if it was matured in oak barrels, its age, its state, amongst others.

Wine have many distinct aromas, and getting to know where they come from or how they are produced isn’t always an easy task. The majority of answers come from a lab where the substances responsible for the several aromas are identified – such as alcohols, acids, esters, aldehydes, terpenes, volatile phenols etc.

Of course the final consumer is not obliged to study the chemistry of the wine, let’s leave it for the professionals – especially because they need to train and study a lot in order to be on the top, and also for identifying the wine and trying to understand what the wine wants to communicate through these aromas.
Aromas aren’t only perceived through our nose, though. They are also perceived deeper, in the postnasal area – this happens when we maintain the wine in our mouths before swallowing, which contributes for the production of flavors.

A flavor is a multisensory combination considered the most complex perception of the wine’s sensorial analysis, since it combines aromas, tastes, and other sensations perceived in the mouth, such as texture, astringency, temperature and others. The aromas, when perceived postnasally, are one of the main components of flavor, and that is what mostly defines our preferences.

When we’ve two wines with similar characteristics, what usually defines our preference are the aromas – and that’s what makes them so important during a wine tasting or appreciation.

I’m not telling you that you need you learn the wine’s chemistry, but simply asking you not to miss the enjoyment of the aromas. Do not forget that a large portion of the pleasure we feel about drinking a glass of wine comes from the way you smell it, and what you feel with regards to it.

Mario R. Leonardi

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