Noble’s wine aroma wheel

The Ann Noble wine aroma wheel. Amazon

If there was a Nobel Prize for wine it should probably go to Ann C Noble, the lady credited with the development of the wine aroma wheel while at the University of California Davis.

Wine tasting notes on back labels and websites owe a debt to Noble’s original wine aroma wheel.

By grouping wine tasting terms into categories and subcategories, the wine aroma wheel gave structure to the language of wine.

When I began teaching wine classes in 1986, Noble’s wine aroma wheel was an incredibly useful tool, helping students define the characteristics of wines they would otherwise have struggled to describe.

I was so enthusiastic about its value as a teaching aid that I had large wine aroma wheels screen-printed onto the wine tasting tables. I invited students to sniff around 30 doctored up examples of fruit, flower, spice, vegetable, and chemical aromas before each wine tasting.

I subsequently developed my own varietal wine aroma wheels to make the process simpler and more digestible. Studying a sauvignon blanc aroma wheel while tasting sauvignon blanc increased the wine vocabulary of students and helped take the fear out of wine tastings.

Wine tasting notes on back labels and websites owe a debt to Noble’s original wine aroma wheel (which can be found by clicking here).

The aroma wheel is not unique to wine. There are aroma wheels for coffee, tea, beer, perfume and many other products with aromatic complexity.


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