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  Editorial Issue 128, April 2014   
The Scent of WineThe Scent of Wine  Contents 
Issue 127, March 2014 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 129, May 2014

The Scent of Wine


 There is something magic when you put your nose in a glass of wine. A world unfolds to our senses, an amazing and renewed tale, like a promise repeating year after year, bottle after bottle. But also sad disappointments. It is not about aromas not exactly meeting our pleasure - and this can also happen, of course - I am talking, in particular, about those aromas that, like to say, are the sign of unskillfulness in wine making. I am completely aware of the fact many of you may consider this as questionable and, last but not the least, undoubtedly subjective. Good and bad, there is no doubt about this, are concepts deeply bound to the culture and personality of each one of us: what I may consider good could be considered bad by others and vice versa. After all, it would also be boring in case everyone would like the same things and in the same measure.


 

 It is however undeniable the scent of wine is an element telling in a quite precise way its story and life, from vineyard to glass. From intensity to cleanness, the scent of wine is capable of telling about a grape, territory and the ones who transformed it into wine. Likewise, it tells about the ones who have been in charge of keeping the bottle and to serve it. The scent of wine also tells many things about the personality of the one who drinks it. It is a sensorial element that, most of the times, meets the idea of the reference “wine making model” of each one of us. The aromas of wine, in fact, have the property to be shaped - like to say - in function of the result to be obtained and according to the type of consumers to which are being destined.

 Every thing done in the vineyard and in the winery, as well as in bottling and consumption, has the property of affecting the scent of wine. Grape, in particular, is the primary element giving the fundamental factors, by strongly claiming - and in function of how it has been processed - its identity or its abuse. Territory, too, is certainly nothing less: each one of them - considered as the union of soil and environment - has the power to give its character to wine aromas. Wines produced from grapes cultivated in clay soil have very different aromas from the ones cultivated in sandy soils: the same grape expresses different olfactory personalities. Also time, better to say, the age of vine, has the property of determining the scent of wine. Wines produced with young grapes do not have the same strength and expressiveness of those which have lived many harvests in the course of their lives.

 The scent of wine is everything, or at least, a very important part. It certainly is for me because, as far as I am concerned, the primary pleasure of wine tasting is represented by its aromas. To put the nose in a glass is always something giving emotions, both positive and negative ones. The smell originating from the glass is capable of telling the whole story of a wine and of the ones who made it, a genuine and loyal quality talking about techniques, territories, time and honesty. The story of wine aromas is also made from the ones which faded away - because of man's fault, producer or consumer - and the ones developing with time. Transformations capable of drastically changing, even significantly, the whole aroma profile of a young wine, even by completely changing its recognizability. Light aromas and strong aromas, arrogant or gentle, all of them contribute to the emotion a wine is capable of giving the nose.

 There are wines, and this is absolutely my opinion, capable of catching your attention for a long time, even for hours, while others seem to be more “superficial” and end their story in few minutes. It should be said that, no matter what, every wine, with no exception, is worth of the attention of each one of our senses, even in case they do not exactly meet our taste. Certain wines, maybe because I have a strong passion for them, seem to be made for being continuously smelt, they also have the power to make you forget what you have in your glass should also be appreciated for its taste. I am talking about fortified and sweet wines - Marsala, Jerez, Porto and Noble Rots in particular - with them it is very easy to get lost in fantastic “dreams” enchanted by the endless evolution of their aromas. Nuances continuously developing, magically endless.

 The scent of wine is a sort of officiant in the ritual of the meeting with men: just like a handshake, it gives you the idea of the one who is in front of you. You understand how much you can get along with a wine: its initial aromas, most of the times, represent the signal which will determine the chance of making friends or not. Dirty aromas, not always clean and limpid, spoiled by alien elements to wine, of course do not invite to the chance of getting to know a wine better. It is like, when you meet someone, he or she is telling you evident and odd lies. I am aware of the fact each one of us considers the lies of a wine in a very subjective way and, sometimes, indisputable. The same is true for genuine stories, of course. In the enthusiasm of catching all the wine aromas - and to me wine aromas represent the most important part - sometimes are also perceived evident lies. Not truly clean aromas, not truly meeting my personal concept of a sound and well made wine. It is right these wines which make me lose the enthusiasm of what I consider the highest pleasure in a wine. A dirty smell, and therefore deceitful, offends the wine and the one who appreciate it. In case the lie is told with the pretension of truth, like an absolute dogma, this also offends intelligence, for the little that can be.

Antonello Biancalana






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  Editorial Issue 128, April 2014   
The Scent of WineThe Scent of Wine  Contents 
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