I use Ann C. Noble’s wine aroma wheel in several of my classes. Say what you will about it. Supplying people with vocabulary to accurately describe what they’re smelling and tasting is a great way to get them excited about wine.
On Grub Street yesterday, a new kind of wheel popped up – one to decipher wine labels.
The accompanying article is worth reading. The teaser line is, “Without labels of jumping kangaroos, how would we know which wines to avoid?”
On French labels…”It’s the fancy stuff, and it will taste sort of like dirt, but in a good way.”
On diluted French labels…”Take the French label and remove a lot of the words. Voilà! ”
On graphic design sub-class Pottery Barn…”American wine that tastes like the vanilla-scented candle they always put in those catalogue rooms.”
On nostalgic vacation labels…”These wine labels are sort of ingenious in that they skip over the wine entirely — “Who cares what grape it is! There’s a flip-flop on the label!” — and go straight to the lifestyle you imagine yourself having while you drink it….I have had enough hangovers to know with full certainty that these are cheap wines that taste like hangovers.”