Ever wonder how wine professionals can discern aromas and flavors in wine with ease? Do they really smell leather, game, or flint? How? The answer is: YES, because they “train” their noses!
If you’ve ever taken one of our classes, you already know that we swirl, sniff, and call out aromas before we’ve taken our first sips. It’s because there are naturally occurring chemical compounds in wine that produce these aromas that help enhance our appreciation for it.
The way to get good at identifying wine aromas is to practice smelling them. Wine professionals often use wine aroma kits to do just that. But since these kits often cost $200+, which isn’t realistic for the average wine consumer, we’re here to show you how to make one at home for a fraction of the price with things you probably already have in your pantry or refrigerator.
What You’ll Need
For our kit, we rounded up 18 spices, herbs, and jams that typically show up in wine, plus some accessories:
Once we gathered our ingredients, we put a teaspoon of each spice into a small, metal, air-tight container (we found ours online for $1 each) and a tablespoon of each jam into a mini, glass mason jar (ours cost $2 each at the supermarket).
Note: In the photo above, we grouped our spices into broader wine aroma categories so you can see what we mean when we say a wine smells like “baking spices”, as opposed to “herbal notes” or “pepper”. You wouldn’t necessarily do this part at home. 🙂
After some simple labeling, we laid our containers in a tray ($10) for easy organization. (The jam jars actually went into the refrigerator after we took the below picture. We recommend you do the same.)
How to Use
Once your aroma kit is set up, congrats! You’re officially a true vinophile (aka: wine geek) who’s ready to take your smelling game to the next level.
Here are the two ways we recommend using it:
Questions or comments? Contact us at [email protected]. Cheers!