Mr Grumpy: a rose by any other name

Bob Campbell MW (AKA Mr Grumpy) The Real Review

When I first started to taste wine professionally I was taught that an aroma, in wine-speak, was a primary odour found in young wine and that it helped distinguish youthful, varietal aromas from the often more complex odours that developed in time and were referred to as a wine’s ‘bouquet’.

The University of Bordeaux teaches that bouquet includes fermentation smells, for example, as well as all those associated with oak ageing and bottle ageing.

The Oxford Companion to Wine (Fourth Edition) edited by Jancis Robinson claims that in Australia, the word aroma is often used to refer specifically to varietal characteristics rather than those associated with winemaking or ageing, so perhaps the distinction between aroma and bouquet is an antipodean oddity.

The University of Bordeaux teaches that bouquet includes fermentation smells, for example, as well as all those associated with oak ageing and bottle ageing. The Companion points out that in current English, aroma means ‘pleasant smell’ (as opposed to odours which may be distinctly nasty).


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