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Wine: How to use your nose

By Barry Smith   September 2016

©Veronique Pagnier, Wikimedia Commons

How important is the sense of smell to our experience of wines? We know that a large part of what we call taste is in fact due to smell. The tongue’s receptors only provide information about taste: sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. Wine critics will talk about notes of melon and pineapple in Chardonnay and the licorice and cherry character of Chianti, but we don’t have melon or pineapple, licorice or cherry receptors on our tongues. Our experience of fruit…

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