Wheel of ... WINE

The use of a wine aroma wheel or wine flavor wheel is highly recommended for any review writing and particularly while one is new to the art of tasting. The wheel is used as a visual search engine while you are tasting or smelling to help narrow down the essence and give a relatable name to it. There are many versions of the wine wheel, although none of them will include all of the possible essences in wine. There are wheels which can help to search for flaws, those that are focused on just fruit and floral fragrances, or the one included in The Taste in Wine, wine tasting guide & journal (pages 20 & 21) that attempts to separate the bouquet from the aromas. This wheel covers a lot of the categories of typical wine fragrance and flavor but is still far from a complete resource. There are simply too many possibilities of identifiable scent possible in wine.

Some of the interesting notes included on this wheel are in the chemical section. Many intriguing and sometimes undesirable tones can be imparted into the wine during the fermentation process. Phenolic is one that many will not be able to relate to but is the best description of what it is. Others, like kerosene or gasoline, can be a natural essence from the grape, though they are included in the bouquet section for simplicity of grouping. The TIW wine wheel presupposes the use of the system of differentiation of aroma and bouquet by whether the essence is from the grape (aroma), or from the fermentation (bouquet). However, it should be stated that not all wine tasters, sommeliers, or experts use this system. There is another school of thought, that all distinguishable scents make up the aromas, and the bouquet is the amalgamation of those aromas. For example, the wine has aromas of stewed cherries and brown butter; the bouquet is cherry pie. In creating the Rs wine tasting system, for standardisation of wine rating and review writing, I used the former system and separated the aromas and bouquet by their origin. That is why the accompanying wine wheel uses the same differentiation. In using the wine wheel in conjunction with the Rs tasting page, you can practice identifying the aromas and the bouquet, and write wine reviews with the information gathered. The Rs pages are available as a free download for print or for use on a mobile device. The TIW wine wheel is also available as a free download here:

They are. Of course, also an integral part of the Taste in Wine book, which is available for sale here:

If you want to get ‘cork-dorky’ with your wine tasting, and do not plan on taking a full wine education course, you can begin by downloading the free tools, and if you like how they work, buy the wine tracking book Taste in Wine. It is available at Wine-A-Reads bookshop: