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It's long been established that the senses of taste and smell are closely linked. For this reason, taking a sniff of the wine you're drinking is an integral part of the overall tasting experience. It's always a surprise what you find.

Start by swirling the wine in your glass, and be careful not to spill. This process will help propel more particles of the wine into the air and make the aroma more distinct. Then just stick your nose into the glass and take a whiff. White wines may contain such smells as almond, apple, apricot, banana, clove, grapefruit, hazelnut, honey, lemon, lime, melon, peach, pear, pineapple, and vanilla. Red wines may offer such smells as black olive, black pepper, cassis, cherry, cinnamon, clove, green pepper, mint, mushroom, raspberry, strawberry, tea, tobacco, vanilla, and white pepper.*

A note on my wine reviews: I often use the word "aroma" to designate the overall smell of a wine. professional tasters will distinguish between a wine's aroma (meaning the smells of the grapes and those originating from the fermentation process) and its bouquet (meaning the smells generated by bottle aging). The general term they use when describing a win'es general smell is "nose." This is all, however, ridiculous, and I simply use "aroma" or whatever other words to describe what my nose smells and my brain interprets.

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*These lists, while not by any means all-inclusive, are taken from "Sip by Sip" by author Michael Bonadies.

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