Give your glass a vigorous swirl to help release the aromas. Swirling takes a bit of practice. This technique can be learned by leaving the wine glass on the table, holding it by the stem, and rotating it in small circles. The object is to get the wine to move up to around 70% of sides of the glass.

Stick your nose right into the glass and inhale steadily and gently, as if you were smelling a flower. These vital seconds of inhalation will reveal all kinds of familiar and unfamiliar smells. Try to detect the smell of fruity or floral notes. Decide what they remind you of if possible. Note the presence of spices, such as pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, tea or possibly nuts. Finally, note the presence of other aromas, such as cedar, oak, moist earth, herbs, chocolate, tobacco, toast, or smoke. Always interpret them in terms that mean something to you.

Remember, it’s your nose that counts here. It does not matter if someone else interprets the smell differently, that is part of the pleasure of wine.

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