QUESTION: In the tasting notes that accompany our wine shipments from the Elevant Society, I’ve seen three different terms used to describe what a wine smells like: bouquet, aroma and nose. Are these terms interchangeable, or does each have its own nuanced meaning?
ANSWER: Good question! Truth be told, we tend to use those terms interchangeably – but they do have slightly different definitions. Let’s break them down…
“Aroma” refers to the scent of the grapes used to make the wine. In general, this involves various fruit descriptors.
“Bouquet” refers to the total scent of the wine. This is where nuances such as floral and earth-like impressions come in.
“Nose” incorporates both the aroma and the bouquet, along with any impressions resulting from oak barrel aging, such as wood and certain spices.
If it sounds as if those definitions are pretty close… you’re right, which explains why they tend to be used interchangeably.