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Wine Aromas Breakout Session
Terry Sullivan

As a former educator for three plus decades (elementary, middle school teacher and university lecturer) it is interesting to note the educational value of presentations at conferences. One presentation at the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference was higher on the educational value for many of the attendees. The session Aromas of Wine was held twice and presented by Sheri Sauter Morano MW. Ms. Morano was the first American woman to pass the MW. Her session included a slide presentation and activity.

Wine Aromas at Wine Bloggers Conference 2011The content of the slide presentation wasn’t new, having taken a wine aroma online class through Washington State University. However for many in the room, the content was new. The activity was excellent. Participants received a tray of twelve vials with different aromas in them. These included: raspberries, grapefruit, peaches, lemon and lime slices, dill, violet syrup, black currant syrup, black cherries, chocolate chips, vanilla bean, coconut and peppercorns.

Three red and three white wines were available for tasting. The group was instructed to smell the vials and then close the lids to keep the aromas in the vials. For each wine they were to identify at least one of the aromas from the twelve given. The group was also to list aromas they perceived different from the twelve from the vials. They were then asked to identify the varietal grape of the wine. Each wine was a single variety. After too short a time, Ms. Morano and the participants discussed their findings.

It is interesting to note that there were differences among the group as to the aromas they perceived from a wine. For example some thought a wine had peach aromas while others noticed lemon. There were even greater differences on the variety of wine tasters thought they were analyzing. Wines for the activity included Pinot Gris, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Tempranillo, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Ms. Morano pointed out that it was common for different people to have different perceptions of wine. On exiting the room, one was handed an aroma wheel.

This session on wine aromas including a PowerPoint presentation and activity was educational. Even people knowledgeable of aromas should have enjoyed the activity. Everyone was able to test how well he or she identified wine aromas and varieties.



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