……basically take a big, long sniff.
Our ability to smell is something we all take for granted and it’s actually more important than our sense of taste. Try pinching your nose and tasting, all flavours are lost and all that remains are the sensations of saltiness, sweetness, bitterness and sourness. Not terribly inspiring or useful and certainly not enjoyable.
Smell is particularly important when enjoying champagne and sparkling wine. The aromas from fizz are relatively delicate (in comparison to a big bold Australian Shiraz for example). Smelling can give us lots of clues about what we might taste. It’s also a significant factor in the whole experience, let the bubbles tickle your nose – they carry the compounds (that we can smell) to the surface.
A little something to bear in mind… Working out what something smells like is much more about memory and not really about skill. If you’re able to recall the scents given off by a ripe punnet of strawberries, a jar of honey or a freshly cut, juicy peach you’re most of the way to recognising what’s in a glass of fizz or still wine.
So be bold, ‘get your beak in’; what you can smell is just as valid as any wine pro!