Your Nose Doesn't Suck
If you think wine smells like, well, wine – don't despair! This is a learned skill and it’s only a matter of practice. We’re here to help!
Step 1: Open the aroma packet included in your Mission Box.
Step 2: Smell the aromatized salts inside by pouring them into a wineglass, and taking a sniff.
Step 3: Can you identify this familiar smell? Take your time — it might take a couple inhales!
Step 5: Once you’ve given it your best shot, scroll down to find out the answer at the bottom of this page.
Why is this so flippin' hard?
The human brain is pretty spectacular, but it still has its quirks. For example, the part of the brain that handles language (a recent addition by evolutionary standards) communicates terribly with some of its more primitive areas, such as the part that processes aroma. Imagine your 95-year-old neighbor shouting something from her balcony across the street and then dramatically shutting her window before you can even respond — that’s about the level of communication going on here. This explains why it can be weirdly frustrating to try to describe what we smell. We feel it, but can’t always describe what it is we feel.
Since kindergarten we've been taught to use our eyes and ears.
A is for apple. The cow says moo. But who can remember a teacher ever asking what an apple tastes like, or how to describe the smell of freshly mown hay?
The truth is, fully appreciating a wine’s aroma has nothing to do with having a hyper sensitive nose — so don’t worry! Instead, what matters is how well we can attach meaning to the things you smell. We’ll help you here by providing a basic vocabulary to tag a variety of aromas, which will serve as a kind of Rolodex in your mind, keeping all of these aromas organized and available.
Think about it — your ability to hear a two seconds of a verse and know whether its Biggie or Tupac has nothing to do with the sensitivity of your ears and everything to do with the fact that you were a huge rap nerd in middle school. Experience — not hardware — is what matters.
So just drink. And pay attention. Soon you’ll know these aromas as well as the lyrics to Hypnotize.