The wine aroma wheel shows the components of smell and taste, the conclusions you can draw from them and above all, how you can competently express these impressions in words everyone will understand.
How to use the aroma wheel
The aroma wheel for white and red wines is subdivided into colored segments that describe seven characteristic aromas and one category for taste impressions.
You work your way from a broad classification in the middle to the more detailed descriptions in the outermost circle.
Let's begin at "START." Within the broad segment "fruity," for example, your more specific impression might be that of "berries." Now, through more intense sniffing, you can determine whether your wine smells more like currants or elderberries, or in some instances, perhaps both. From the individual aromas of a wine you can draw important conclusions about its grape variety and its region of origin. Scheurebe often smells like black currants or passion fruit, while Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) usually is more redolent of pears and pineapples. Attributes such as tar, butter or smoked bacon also provide clues about soil type and weather factors. A trained nose and an experienced palate can recognize grape varieties or regions of origin from just a few aromas. One important advantage of the aroma wheel is that it imparts an extensive amount of information which enables you to successfully match food and wine. For example, it's easy to see how a Gewürztraminer, that smells like sweet spices, is a natural partner for exotic dishes, or a Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), reminiscent of lemons or apricots, goes well with a fruity salad.