How to Make Your Own Wine Aroma Study Kit

How to Make Your Own Wine Aroma Study Kit | How To | Learn Wine | Wine Spectator

In case you are wondering how to better your “Nose” or just how to identify the smells in your wine that everyone but you seems to pick up…. check out this create way to do at home or even with those silly wine friends of yours.

All you need to make your own wine aroma kit are a few items: some local fruit from your supermaket, wine glasses and a neutral white or red wine.  Before you head to the supermarket, take with you a taking list of things you commonly expect to smell in the wines you are going to taste. That is if you have a particular wine in mind that you would like to better understand. In order to get these smells, just look up online “Wine characteristics” + “wine variety” you want to understand better like Pinot Noir, Riesling or Cabernet Sauvingnon.

For example, if I want to better understand what a Tempranillo (variety) from Spain smells like, I would pick up some black berries, sour cherries,strawberry, piece of clean leather, perhaps even some tobacco and vanilla.   While smelling, it might help to look at a Wine Aroma wheel developed by Ann Noble: to help you identify the wines post this experiment. You can also find visual versions of this online if you type in “Wine Aroma Wheel”

Thanks to Wine Spectator, they have laid out how to do it with precision. In the past, I’ve used an oz. of neutral cheap box wine and placed the berries, fruit or spices into the glass, let it sit and swirl and smell. This is a more precise and easy to follow method.

Enjoy this little experiment!

What you will need:

  • One glass for each aroma standard you plan to make
  • One bottle of an inexpensive, neutral white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Colombard is enough to make 10 to 12 white wine aroma standards
  • One bottle of an inexpensive, neutral red wine such as Merlot or Beaujolais is enough to make 10 to 12 red wine aroma standards


  • Mark each glass so you know which aroma it will contain; write the name of each aroma on a small sticker (the removable kind are best) and label each glass.
  • Pour 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons of wine into each wineglass.
  • Add the indicated amount of each aroma ingredient to its own glass of wine and let it soak for an hour or so.
  • After the hour is up, remove any solid ingredients.
  • Swirl and sniff each glass of wine so you can become familiar with the aroma that has been added to it.
  • Next, test yourself by transferring each sticker to the bottom of its glass where it can’t be read. Then shuffle the glasses. Swirl and sniff the standards. Can you identify any of them?
  • White Wine Aroma Ingredient
    Lemon A small portion of fresh lemon peel and one teaspoon lemon juice
    Grapefruit A small portion of fresh grapefruit peel and one teaspoon grapefruit juice
    Pineapple One teaspoon pineapple juice
    Melon A chunk of ripe cantaloupe
    Peach A chunk of ripe peach or one tablespoon syrup from canned peaches
    Pear A chunk of ripe pear or one tablespoon syrup from canned pears
    Green grass Three crushed blades of green grass
    Honey One teaspoon honey (stir to dissolve)
    Vanilla One drop vanilla extract
    Nutmeg A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
    Smokey Oak One drop Liquid Smoke, available in many supermarket spice sections
    Red Wine Aroma Ingredient
    Strawberry Two crushed ripe or frozen strawberries
    Strawberry jam One teaspoon of strawberry jam (stir to dissolve)
    Cherry Two crushed ripe cherries or a tablespoon of juice from canned cherries
    Mint One drop of mint extract or a crushed mint leaf (spearmint or peppermint)
    Green Pepper A quarter of a green pepper, diced
    Black Pepper A few grains of freshly ground black pepper
    Chocolate One teaspoon of powdered cocoa or shaved chocolate
    Coffee About 1/8 teaspoon ground coffee
    Tobacco One small pinch of cigarette or pipe tobacco
    Vanilla One drop vanilla extract
    Smokey Oak One drop Liquid Smoke, available in many supermarket spice sections

Special thanks to “Wine Spectator- How to” Section. For more information and learn more on wine, please check out .

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