Aromatic Components with Jason Alexander – April 26

Aromatics class was a really fun exercise for our noses! We put together a vast array of scents, including fruits, vegetables, spices, flowers, even tobacco and bacon – common scents found in wine. We also had a scents kit that contained many essences that we weren’t able to get naturally (like peaches, lychee, and currants). Students went around to the different scent stations and sniffed the bags and vials, priming their noses for the wine tasting to follow. Sommelier Jason Alexander then led everyone through the tasting, encouraging students to identify fruit characteristics, floral components, spices and other smells in the wine. When an aroma was identified, the class smelled the raw material again to see if they were correct. Students found that smelling the scents first helped them identify those aromas in the wine. The only complaint was that Brian’s spices were old – apparently he doesn’t cook or bake enough. But his truffle oil smelled divine!

The wines had very typical aromas for their variety and origin, and we tasted them blind:

1. Penfolds Eden Valley Riesling 2009 – South Australia

2. Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2010 – Marlborough, New Zealand

3. Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2004 – Alsace, France

4. Bethel Heights Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008 – Oregon

5. Bernard Burgaud Cote Rotie 2007 – Rhone Valley, France

6. Château Brane-Cantenac 2008 – Margaux, Bordeaux

Thanks to Jason for such an interactive experience and to all the students for attending!

Follow your nose…

Melanie Friedman

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