|  |   |   |   |   |  


  "The Wines That Make Ashland Famous!"

Wine Aroma Wheel

 

Ashland Vineyards and Winery and SHAKESPEARE wine are pleased to provide you the UC-Davis Aroma Wheel.

Paying attention to color, aroma, flavor, and texture enhances the enjoyment of wine. As with every other pleasure in life, it's better when you share it with other people.  To communicate such a personal experience as taste or smell, we need to talk.  Most of us tend to have a limited vocabulary when it comes to discussing our senses.  "This smells good," or "I don't like the taste of that," are about as descriptive as we get.

Aromas, particularly, are difficult.  Try to describe the fragrance of a fresh peach without saying that it smells "like" something else.  Read the backs of wine labels and periodical wine-review magazines.  Many writers are downright poetic; some quite to-the-point.  All will use analogy to describe aromas in wine.

The Aroma Wheel was developed at the University of California at Davis in the early Eighties as a standard used to describe wine in uniform, non-judgmental terms.  It's organized from broad, general adjectives (fruity), to very precise, analogous nouns (grapefruit).  The original layout is, indeed, a wheel.  Here we have used a table since it's easier to read on the computer screen.

Some of the more specific terms are unusual: artichoke, plastic, horsy.  Some are chemical: diacetyl, mercaptan, ethanol.  Several are just plain funny: wet dog, sweaty, barnyard.  (If this sounds too unpleasant to drink, think a little further. A gentle whiff of perfume is attractive.  A department store cosmetics counter-full stinks!)  A few of these terms are used to define real faults or defects in wine; most are just a guide for sensory analysis.

With practice and experience you'll use more descriptive terms which are not included here.  Opulent, exotic, brambly, etc. etc.  "This smells good" is perfectly valid as well!

Next time you pour a glass of wine, give your nose and your vocabulary a workout.

 The Wine Aroma Wheel

waw.gif (16568 bytes)

Copyrightę A. C. Noble , R. A. Arnold, J. Buechsenstein, E. J. Leach, J. O. Schmidy, and P.M. Stern, 'Modification of a standardized system of wine aroma terminology', American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 38/2 (1987)

Fruity Citrus Grapefruit
    Lemon
  Berry Blackberry
    Raspberry
    Strawberry
    Black Currant (Cassis)
  (Tree) Fruit Cherry
    Apricot
    Peach
    Apple
  (Tropical) Fruit Pineapple
    Melon
    Banana
  (Dried) Fruit Strawberry Jam
    Raisin
    Prune
    Fig
  Other Artificial Fruit
    Methyl Anthranilate

 

Spicy Spicy Licorice/Anise
    Black Pepper
    Cloves

 

Floral Floral Geranium
    Violet
    Rose
    Orange Blossom

 

Microbiological Yeasty Leesy
    Baker's Yeast
  Lactic Yogurt
    Sweaty
    Sauerkraut
  Other Mousy
    Horsey

 

Sherry Oxidized Oxidized

 

Pungent Cool Menthol
  Hot Alcohol

 

Chemical Pungent Sulfur Dioxide
    Ethanol
    Acetic Acid
    Ethyl Acetate
  Sulfur Wet Wool, Wet Dog
    Sulfur Dioxide
    Burnt Match
    Cabbage
    Skunk
    Garlic
    Natural Gas, Mercaptain
    Hydrogen Sulfide
    Rubbery
  Petroleum Diesel
    Kerosene
    Plastic
    Tar

 

Earthy Moldy Moldy Cork
    Moldy
  Earthy Mushroom
    Dusty

 

Woody Burned Smoky
    Burnt Toast
    Coffee
  Phenolic Medicinal
    Phenolic
    Bacon
  Resinous Oak
    Cedar
    Vanilla

 

Caramel Caramel Honey
    Butterscotch
    Diacetyl (Butter)
    Soy Sauce
    Chocolate
    Molasses

 

Nutty Nutty Walnut
    Hazelnut
    Almond

 

Herbaceous or
Vegetative
Fresh Cut Green Grass
    Bell Pepper
    Eucalyptus
    Mint
  Canned/Cooked Green Beans
    Asparagus
    Green Olive
    Black Olive
    Artichoke
  Dried Hay/Straw
    Tea
    Tobacco
 

If you would like to purchase your own copy of the Wine Aroma Wheel, please visit this site:
http://www.winearomawheel.com

Or visit the UC Davis Bookstore to purchase a copy for $5 plus shipping & handling.

 2775 East Main Street, Ashland OR 97520
(541) 488-0088
wines@winenet.com