Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Smoked wild game, herbs de Provence and hints of bitter Swiss chocolate"

If you've ever read some of Robert Parker's wine reviews, you've probably laughed out loud at some of his descriptions. He'll routinely toss in words like "graphite", "roasted meats", "bacon fat", "wet slate", or "cedar" and "spicebox".

But what words would you use to describe the flavors in your wine?  Here's a handy little illustration of a flavor wheel.  It'll help you figure out what basic flavors you're tasting when you're swishing that wine around in your mouth:

Here's a handy wine "aroma wheel" to help you decipher some of the
flavors present in your wine (click for larger image)

If you're making wine, you obviously don't want to find yourself anywhere near the "chemical" section of the flavor wheel, nor do you want your wine to taste like yoghurt. Floral, spicy, or fruity flavors are great, though, and there's a trend toward more herbaceous flavors like hay, herbs, and menthol/licorice.
Print out the wheel and take it with you when you're wine tasting!

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