A Learning Experience for Your Nose

If you’re a member of one of the wine clubs of Vinesse, you receive a “tasting note” with each featured wine selection.

Each tasting note includes a detailed description of the wine, including aromas and flavors detected by members of the Vinesse tasting panel when the wine was being evaluated.

Some people have trouble identifying all the aromas and flavors listed in those tasting notes. The reason for this is simple: no two palates are exactly the same. In fact, it’s quite rare for any two people to experience a given wine in exactly the same way.

To help wine drinkers get more attuned with what they’re smelling and tasting, a number of California wineries have created sensory gardens. The most extensive one can be found at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center in Fulton, Calif., just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County.

There are seven distinct garden spaces at Kendall-Jackson, including a Red Wine Sensory Garden and a White Wine Sensory Garden. Each corner of each garden represents a specific varietal or group of varietals.

For instance, in the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot area, planted “descriptors” include eggplant, black beans, broccoli, beets, radicchio, carrots, olives, green beans, sage, rosemary and basil. “Affinities” include oregano, blackberry, black cherry, bell pepper, black currant, mint and dill.

Get familiar with those aromas, and identifying them in the wines you drink will gradually become easier and easier.

The plantings at Kendall-Jackson vary by season, and garden tours are available. For further information, call 866-287-9818.

Posted in Wine in the Glass
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