I got something called a Wine Awakenings kit for my birthday the other
day and I'm trying to figure out how the heck to use it. It's got a
whole bunch of bottles of odours for chardonnay and the book says you
practice identifying but my question is why? It's neat looking but
does anybody know what I'm supposed to do with it? My sister in law
is coming to visit soon and I want to tell her I'm using it.
The purpose of a wine aroma kit (there are a few out there, some of them
with up to 54 little phyles of aroma oil--very expensive), is to develope an
olfactory memory of certain aromas and smells that occur in wine. While your
little phyles may offer more intense aromas than the actual wine, ie, the
banana may be powerful, or the vanilla or oak may be very pungent, the
purpose is to create an impression in your olfactory (nose) bulb, and a
memory. Therefore, the next time you have white wine, if your memory is
conditioned to the aroma of what characteristics you find in chardonnay, you
will be in a better position to recognize and evaluate it as a connoisseur
or critic, or whatever.
Nothing, however, beats just sampling lots of different chardonnay's from
different appellations, and vintages, but in the interim, the aroma kits can
be a useful tool. It teaches your nose how to recognise subtle smells.